Expert: Plutonium contamination of Pacific Ocean food chain from Fukushima now suspected; “Real source of potential long term problems for humans” — Newspaper: “Leakage of highly contaminated water into sea must be dealt with immediately” — Gov’t: Effect on health of US public not ‘significant’ (VIDEO)
Published: September 14th, 2014 at 9:45 pm ET
The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 11, 2014: TEPCO measures fail to hold water — Three and a half years after the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, efforts to contain water contaminated with radioactive substances at the plant are at a crossroads… [TEPCO] has been unable to curb the growing volume of contaminated water… Yomiuri Shimbun reporters entered the Fukushima No. 1 plant on Monday morning… Ocean still remains vulnerable — Leakage of highly contaminated water into the sea is another problem that must be dealt with immediately…
Nuclear Safety In The Age Of Chernobyl And Fukushima (pdf), website of Ulrich H. Kurzweg, University of Florida Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dec. 10, 2013: Strontium, cesium and plutonium are the real source of potential long term problems for humans as they can cause cell damage over many years especially if they get into the food chain as may be happening at the moment to people in Japan and to fish in the Pacific… The worry at Fukushima at the moment is… the leakage of radioactive water into the Pacific…
U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Meeting, Japanese Nuclear Plant Crisis in March 2011 (emphasis added):
- Bill Borchardt, Executive Director of Operations at Nuclear Regulatory Commission (at 13:00 in): Units 2 and 3 appear to have some primary containment damage. There have been releases of radioactivity that are of significant concern, including a significant contamination in the lower levels of Unit 2 and Unit 3 turbines… On Friday, March 11 [2011 the NRC’s] first concern was for a possible tsunami impact on U.S. plants and radioactive materials on the West Coast.
- U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska (31:15 in): There’s a lot of concern about what may end up in our oceans, impact to the fisheries. Do we have radiation monitors off of Honshu that are measuring anything in the ocean? Or is it just monitors that are evaluating the air?
- Peter B. Lyons Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy at US Dept. of Energy (in 31:45): The Dept. of Energy systems [are] not over the ocean… I am not aware of monitoring capability within the ocean that we have… That certainly could be added if it was deemed necessary. I should add that the Department of Energy, through the calculational capabilities — using the source terms developed by the NRC as being the worst cases —we do not anticipate a significant health effect in any of the United States areas.
- U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming (53:30 in): In the New York Times today, it reported that highly contaminated water… could leak into the ocean. What are the implications of that?
- Lyons (53:45 in): Well, certainly that has to be monitored from the standpoint of fisheries, food products. There are other agencies within our government that would betracking whether there were any concerns from a U.S. perspective.