The Scoop: Radioactive Pacific

posted by / Blogs / August 28, 2013

A not so hazardous Pacific.
Well that’s enough to raise an eyebrow — good thing this map has nothing to do with radioactivity.

SURFING Magazine's ScoopSocial media bombards us with information. You can learn how many Heinekens your cousin twice-removed consumed on a frisky Friday eve and learn about one of the most significant events of our time during the same 30 seconds. And in either case, you’re likely to encounter a lavish exaggeration. Recently, social media has exaggerated the repercussions from 2011’s Fukushima nuclear meltdown. Radiation was the name of the game and suddenly the Pacific became cancer-inducing aggressor, a killer’s playground. Waist-high waves are now deadly and a bite of a Pacific-born fish is more harmful than 3000 Big Macs. But is any of this worry warranted?

We posed that question to three scientists. All agreed in that the levels of radioactivity in the Eastern Pacific are of no threat to your health, but Ken Buesseler was kind enough to give us the whole scoop. Not to name drop, but this guy studied on-site at Chernobyl for years. Here, the distinguished professor from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute discerns fact from foolishness. Big Ken (Ph.D., of course) explains why you needn’t worry. And if you do decide to eat sushi again, we must warn you about soy sauce — the sodium in there is out of control. —Brendan Buckley

Ken Buesseler:The meltdown at Fukushima happened in 2011 and the waves from the tsunami brought radioactive material into the ocean. There were various other sources from the event which caused even more contamination. It was an unprecedented event for the ocean, so there is every right to be worried. It’s good to have a healthy amount of concern about radioactivity in the Pacific, but the effects from Fukushima on our coast have been exaggerated. Certainly, there was an extremely high level of radioactivity right at the site of the disaster. However, the further away you go, the lower those levels become and they reach a point of insignificance.

When you put milk in your coffee cup and start stirring, you see streaks at first and eventually it all becomes that light color. The ocean behaves in a similar fashion and the mixing is very well understood. The radioactive isotopes mix with the currents. Those currents slowly move across the Pacific and they will reach our shores. But the levels will be tens of thousands of times lower that what we found in Japan. They’re already low enough off the coast of Japan to be safe, but they’re going to be even lower off our coast.

There is no way that the water that you’re surfing in could give you a radioactive dose that would be of any concern. There are already radioactive atoms in the ocean, but they aren’t dangerous. We have naturally-occurring radionuclides and there are still radionuclides from nuclear weapon testings in the ‘60s in there. It can be hard for people to understand that it’s already been there, but it has been for decades. And the radioactivity from Fukushima will cause no significant difference.

The consumption of seafood has raised significant interest. If you eat a contaminated fish, that is a direct dose of radiation and it is of more concern than external exposure. Japan had to close down a large number of fisheries for this reason. And yes, fish can move out of those contaminated zones but they rarely do — besides for tuna. And if a tuna was to swim away, the concentration of these cesium isotopes would drastically decrease. They lose it as they get into cleaner water. In 50 days, a fish will lose half of the cesium it may have picked up off Japan. We must watch out from thinking that every radioactive atom will kill us. We’re regularly exposed to a number of detrimental things and this one does not create a hazardous situation.

I don’t work for the power companies. I don’t work for any special groups. We just analyze what we measure and how it compares to other sources and try to put it into context. We don’t believe that the Pacific Ocean is safe in the sense of being able to ignore what is an unprecedented release of radioactivity. But I think it’s all been very alarmist and you can blame that on the fear of cancer or bad sci-fi movies from the past.

If you care to go in-depth, watch this video of Ken speaking at The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Symposium, click here.

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  • Asa

    This from the guy who spent years at Chernobyl. Of course he’s not concerned, he already glows. “A contaminated fish loses 50% of it’s radiation in 50 days”, so then in 100 days it’s safe to eat? Bullshit. A fish contaminated with radiation is NEVER safe to eat. Fukushima is cooled with seawater, 10′s of thousands of gallons a day, and it’s all dumped right back in the ocean. I don’t know who this guy really works for, but I don’t buy his lies for a second.

  • Andrew

    To this Asa guy:

    Dude. I agree with you that fish really aren’t becoming such a bright idea to eat… but your logic is seriously flawed right here ““A contaminated fish loses 50% of it’s radiation in 50 days”, so then in 100 days it’s safe to eat? Bullshit.” That’s a big hit to your credibility… go study up.

  • Tom

    Sounds like the surf industry paid this guy to maintain sales of surfboards and board shorts. There is little doubt that cancer levels around the Pacific will reach unprecedented highs in the next 20 yrs and beyond. Get you head out of the sand.

  • Håvard

    Even the map is bogus. From http://www.collapsingintoconsciousness.com/at-the-very-least-your-days-of-eating-pacific-ocean-fish-are-over/:
    “It turns out, unknowingly to me, that it was an image from NOAA that showed the Tsunami wave height that had been edited to look like the Pacific Ocean Fukushima radiation path.”

  • Bsauce

    This guy is a idiot . They have already found tuna off the coast of California which had high levels of radiation . Every tuna they caught found the same results . Who tries to claim the fish loose 50% of radiation in 50 days yet also states there is still radiation floating around from 1960 lol . I call bullshit on this .

  • G

    Chernobyl or atom bombs were not continuously dumping highly radiation-contaminated water into the ocean for three years straight and counting. It is foolish to assume that it all disappears somewhere. The ocean currents travel from west to east and as long as the leak is live, the concentration of radiation will continue to increase, mixing or not. What is happening is entirely unprecedented so nobody can speak with confidence about how safe sea is and how it can affect us.

  • Adam

    This article is really bad. Radioactive isotopes last THOUSANDS of years before they begin to decay. Only some types decay quickly, so the statement about fish in the article is very uninformed. Second, where are the numbers? If you are gonna write an article saying its ok show me the radion level numbers for off the coast of California, Japan, Hawaii proving its normal. Anyone can just say its safe, where is the proof?

  • Asa

    To this Andrew guy:

    It’s not my logic. It was his weak attempt to say the fish will be fine in a few months, and that’s completely untrue. I don’t need to ‘study up’, I learned that in 3rd grade. Radiation doesn’t go away, if it did, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  • KODAI SUSUMU JAPANESE

    This is not Dadioactive map.
    It’s a 11/03/2011 Tumani Warning Map.
    http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/honshu20110311/

  • ivonne

    i cant believe this guy. and sorry wetsand, but how could you dare to publish something like this? give us some proof on your “facts”. all this makes no sence at all. all i know and i feel positive about is that Fukushima is what happens when we have the moral responsibility of infants and the technology of adults.
    this article might be more intresting for many
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130807-fukushima-radioactive-water-leak/
    and people dont stop surfing! just make sure to shower right after and try not to swallow the water hahah!

  • ivonne
  • Ryan

    Are any of the people above commenting on this article scientists? Do any of you study radiation on a regular basis or the ocean or did you all simply learn about this in grade school and have now come to the conclusion that you are able to intelligently contribute to this conversation? It is very funny to me that a group with so little knowledge of this topic is attacking this man and calling BS without any backup for their claims. Seems illogical is not backup. Support your comments. Educate us. Don’t spew your own BS.

  • don

    This guy seems to only be speaking about what happened at the beginning of the meltdown. What about the last 2 plus years of 300-500 tons of highly contaminated water being dumped into the ocean everyday with no end in site? its slowly getting worse and worse.

  • http://facebook Dustin

    This guy must have been exposed. Fukushima just came out and said the situation is far worse than previously declared. Try 300,000 gallons of radioactive water being dumped into the ocean daily for the last 3 year’s. Sounds to me it’s a little more then a cup coffee with milk being stirred in. Check the facts. I love when some f@!# tard comes in from nowhere and starts using analogies that all us dumb people can understand. Just tell the truth!

  • Alessandro

    Hey, seriously this makes me laugh. There´s a serious threat to people and this is market related. PLEASE, TELL PEOPLE THE TRUTH, WE WON´T BE ABLE TO EAT ANY FUCKING FISH IN THE PACIFIC AND WE CAN´T EAT THE FUCKING MONEY! YOU ARE ALSO PART OF THE SYSTEM. PLEASE, WAKE-UP!!!!

  • C

    What he is saying is that in 50 days half of the 100% is gone then in another 50 days half of the 50% left is gone. Then in another 50 days half of the 50% left is gone, etc… Takes a lot of time but if the levels reach the non toxic levels then the fish is O.K. to eat, not that I will be eating it though. Still way to soon.

    C

  • Sushma

    Market crisis isn’t it Surfing magazine?

  • EY

    You guys need to look up Woods Hole. This guy isn’t from “nowhere.”

    No, you weren’t taught half-life/radioactive decay in 3rd grade.

  • Tyler

    Yo Surfing thanks for the “concrete” update. this is as legit as your Rulebook. You and your buddy Big Ken (PH D included) are KOOKS !

  • CARLOS

    please stay out of the pacific ocean, please!!! And don´t come to México either, besides radiation in the water, we have narcos, federales, dengue fever and so on… Stay in your bunkers and live your sorry life until you´re 80 and can´t surf no more…

  • plump blumpkin
  • SK8FREE 4EVR

    This guy Ken Buesseler gets it wrong in his first sentence. “The meltdown at Fukushima happened in 2011 and the waves from the tsunami brought radioactive material into the ocean.” WRONG. The tsunami caused waves which set off a chain of events at the reactor sites, which ultimately led to the meltdown of many of the sites reactors. Releases of toxic material began AFTER the tsunami waves had receded.

    From Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_effects_from_the_Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster

  • outerbanks

    They got whole groups of scientists to say the same thing about the edibility of seafood from the Gulf Coast after BP Horizon and Corexit spraying. (see the free youtube movie The Big Fix)

    The problem is that you won’t know your toxic in radioactive waste until it is too late. Yes, probably by pelagic food. I agree that proximity has much to do with radiation dispersing. Never the less, this article has some biases that show at the surface.

    It seems that he has read too many of his own articles and has listened to too many of his own talks.

    Poorly written and skirts the main issue of concern for the ocean and ocean environment.

    just sayin

  • Amy

    Ok… Call me crazy….. But when you add milk to coffee, it never goes back to being black coffee again, in fact it changes completely. This comparison made me feel worse not better. Am I being to simple here?

  • Hawaii

    Cesium has a 1/2 life of 30 years. And that’s just 1 of the many radioactive isotopes being released daily, many of which have much longer 1/2 lives. It’d be nice to have some solid, timely data included with this post. We want some honest updates.

    Here’s an article posted just after the initial disaster with helpful info:
    http://maui.bz/radiation-in-hawaii/

  • lagunacomputer

    THIS IS A FAKE IMAGE
    THIS IS A FAKE IMAGE
    THIS IS A FAKE IMAGE
    THIS IS A FAKE IMAGE

    of a NOAA tsunami swell map, not radiation!!!! http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/honshu20110311/

  • Murray

    So, fear and panic radiates from an intentionally misrepresented illustration but a scientist with years of experience and expertise is dismissed with a casual unreferenced “fact” or comment.

  • Adam

    @Ryan: it doesnt matter that we are not scientists. People posting comments are not pretending to more no than they do. However, the real “expert” quoted in the article has provided no proof to his statements. In fact a quick read of the national geographic article that is posted in the comments section hear will prove to you things are as bad as they say. I think the surf industry is worried because this accident has the potential to ruin their businesses, just like the fishing industry.

  • PT808

    Total Bullshit, Surfing mag payed this guy!

  • Ocean

    Wow… you guys are idiots who are saying you’re all screwed. First off, Ken, as listed in this article, is part of Woods Hole. That’s the oceanographic institute of MIT, you’re going to say that one of the biggest brain trusts in addition to NASA, are lying about it? Also, I’m sure most of you have no background in chemistry, so if you don’t, then shut up.

    Cesium in a pure form, may have a 30 year half life. But you guys aren’t accounting for isotopes which some have rapid half lives because of severe instability. Even something as simple as carbon as radioactive isotopes. Those isotopes are used to measure how old things such as bones are, based on half-life. Scientists use radioactive isotopes that are in fish, the water column itself, and even IN US to track processes or determine age. The cesium isotope that was released (cesium 124) has a half life of 30.8 seconds. So even in a high dose, within a reasonable amount of time, cesium would be virtually eliminated. Also, Cesium isn’t an isotope that stays in the body. It can pass about as readily as salt and in fact has a chemical structure similar to potassium. Most common side effects of cesium are muscle spasms and hyperirritability.

    The isotope of concern is strontium, which deposits itself inside bone tissue, but even upon ingestion by biological sources, 70-80% of the dose passes straight through. The biological half life of strontium-90 in humans has variously been reported as from 14 to 600 days, 1000 days, 18 years, 30 years and finally at an upper limit, 49 years. The wide ranging published biological half life figures are explained by the isotope’s complex metabolism within the body, but by averaging over all excretion paths the biological half life is about 18 years. Yes it can cause bone cancer, cancer of surrounding tissues, and leukemia.
    By the time it reaches the US, the concentration may be so low that it poses no threat to us by the process of dilution… ALSO, seawater and biological metabolism can also affect these half lives as well.

    All fish on the planet are contaminated to some degree with levels of Mercury, and the fish you eat further contaminate your body with mercury that sits inside your body and is deposited into your brain, affecting your Nervous system, and later, your kidneys and liver. I’d be more concerned with that Cesium.

    Another interesting fact, Strontium-90 is accepted by the food and drug administration to administer to patients for cancer treatment. Also, there are accepted levels of radiation and toxic chemicals allowed in things such as your drinking water.

    When there was the nuclear incident in Hershey Pennsylvania several years back, radiation was released and is believed to affect grass and cows. So the very milk you drink and chocolate you eat could have residual radiation in it. Even the ground itself has radioactive elements in it.

    So, you can eat radioactive fish from the west coast, or have crude oil contaminated fish from the East coast. Take your pick.
    I’m a biological oceanography graduate student. Tons of us are working on a daily basis to fix these issues, and find solutions as fast as we can. There are even laboratory methods designed to remove radioactive elements from seawater, but to do these on a larger scale aren’t tested.

    Sadly, politicians are the ones who cut funding to programs like ours for the sake of business, when the businesses they help support are the ones destroying your ability to enjoy things like seafood. So if you want a comprehensive solution to be done about these things, contact your local representatives. While I’m not a supporter of politics whatsoever, it’s pretty truthful from experience to say that the ones who are the most detrimental to oceanographic research have in fact, been the GOP

  • Dave

    Great take and I respect you guys for attempting to defuse this a little.
    To all those…. misinformed/uninformed people, the world wont stop spinning if you stop eating fish and swimming in the ocean. Actually that will lead to more fish and less crowded surf breaks. This is not trying to be a scientific article, its just an ernest attempt to help u guys out.
    Just a word of advice, your friend posting a pretty picture on fb with sensational headlines doesn’t make it true.

  • Don

    The last place anyone should look to for accurate information on something as serious as radioactive waste in our ocean is Surfing magazine or any surf related magazine for that matter which will do no real investigation/journalism whatsoever. Downplaying this is ridiculous. It’s ok you’ll be fine,no worries just keep polluting, destroying our ocean and see what happens. Wake up, we are slowly killing our oceans right before our eyes. This is bogus.

  • Bear (Dave)

    Old guys like myself grew up on strontium 90 “enhanced” milk from atmospheric nuclear testing in the 40s and 50s…ad most of us are still here ! If large populations of fish continually turn out to be too highly irradiated to eat – that’s great! – it gives the Pacific fish stocks a couple of generations of not being eaten to recover, instead of being fished out entirely ! The Japanese people will have to stop “experimenting” (in the kitchen) with whale meat, as their concentrations will be some of the highest. Ocean radiation levels won’t be worrying enough to keep us out of it. It’s all probably less of a problem than all theo ther inorganic crap we’re sticking in it !

  • Surf&Sushi

    Blam! Ocean dude laying it down straight! Like it. But seriously guys what’s up with the photo? Anyway we are all F@(+KEd one way or the other so might as well do what you love. Surf & Sushi Brothas!

  • Matty

    A fish loses half it radiation dose in 50 days. Lets call the radiation dose (D) is 100 rad.
    in 50 days its rad level is 50, in 100 days its 25 rad. In 150 days its 12.5 rad and in 200 days its 6.25 rad, in 250 days its 3.125 rad so by the rate of radioactive decay it will never reach 0. Its the same with every living being on earth. We have all been contaminated with radiation. Its the amount that matters.

  • MIke Delanzo

    Total JOKE !!! HAHAHA comedians how much money did you all get from the gov,..TAX BREAK PERHAPS!!….. YOU Missed the dead already found Dolphins & sealion pups (many) 300plus tested and removed from Seaworld not mention the thousands of TUNA …I was there in LA and San O….so STOP THE CORP BS! oh and your creative writing to start it off,… yeah DUDE it’s crazy thinkin hahahah…what ever! SURFING MAG!

  • xtopher

    Funny the article doesn’t mention anything about how TEPCO kept the reactor cores cool for the last two years. They have been using the ocean water, then flushing it back into the Pacific. And it continues today.

  • Rowsta

    Love how people don’t understand that the pacific ocean is 6.6 × 10^20 litres, and the volume per day apparently leaving the reactor was 1.13×10^6 litres of potentially contaminated water, means that was 1.71×10^-13 % of the volume…or 0.000000000000171% of the pacific oceans volume. Then add mixing between the other oceans and the number gets EVEN smaller.

    Also the Cs has many isotopes, most of which are unstable and have half-lives of mere minutes. Some last days or years, but stable radioactive isotopes are pretty rare and usually give off less radiation per unit time since releasing energy is the mechanism by which the atom becomes stable.

    As for the coffee analogy, if you put a teaspoon of milk in a swimming pool of coffee, it doesn’t make much difference to the color and milk doesn’t decay. Now add that teaspoon of milk to a swimming pool that is a hundred million times the size of a regular pool. Thats closer to the volume ratios we are looking at here.

    http://xkcd.com/radiation/
    This will hopefully put things in perspective for some. (take with a grain of salt/a drop of milk :P)

    I may not be qualified to teach this stuff since I do not have a degree in Nuclear Chemistry/Physics, but using a moderate amount of critical thought and a bit of research it becomes clear pretty quick that this radiation is something we want to prevent in the future, but no reason for panic.

  • Schoon Dogg

    What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
    A race between the cockroach and the human? Who will win?

  • Schoon Dogg

    Energy is neither gained or lost, Just like the shit of the human. It comes out disperses itself and gradually gets altered, maybe down the toilet, ravaged by flies in by a bush, or stepped on by some unfortunate person, in attempts to balance things out, similar to what the ocean will do

  • Ed J

    False info at its best , what they telling us is that its alright to pump tons of radioactive water into the Pacific daily , with no repercussions ………… And you call this The Scoop Surfing Mag ? Crock of crap more like it

  • Michael Reidinger

    Yes 50% is cleaned from fish, other Sat image do show contamination water flow in northern Pacific. This is not current rather radioactivity exposure. Cesium137+ has been detected in nuts, vegetables, and yes fish in northern part of US west coast. (Google tag) test show marker is from Fukushima.

  • tony (ty) carson-big island

    I agree with Carlos, you guys, (especially Brendan), need to stay out of the Pacific Ocean, it ‘could’ lead to your demise. And how could we believe anything from surfing mag. anyway, when their ethics are so low, they would pull and delete comments from blogs- to possibly try and protect people from negative press. The Eddie R. blog being an example. ( And I still think Eddie needs to get right with God). It doesn’t get much lower than that, oh, except for someone trying to punch ghosts- because “he” disagrees with your opinions. Peace…

  • Anonymous

    Still don’t believe everything you read, even this article… of course surf industry wants one sided opinions on the situation cos they want surfers to keep surfing, and buying the products. question everything, follow the money,, mwahahahaha….

  • Kitesurfing Lessons

    We need more people like all of you above to keep the world alive, our local beach is fine now but it wouldn’t take much more to make it unusable and our business relies on it.
    http://hampshirekitesurfing.com/Kitesurfing_Lessons_South_UK_Hampshire_Southampton_Portsmouth.html

  • xtopher

    Fact: 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima is entering the Pacific Ocean every 24 hours.

  • Jodee

    I don’t buy it! The world surfing market is forecast to reach $13.24 billion by the year 2017. You can’t cause panic among your customers by telling them the ocean is unsafe to swim in. The US economy is already screwed!
    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/may/tuna-radioactive-materials-053012.html

    http://samuel-warde.com/2013/08/radioactive-bluefin-tuna-caught-off-california-coast/

    Is Fukushima Radiation Causing the Epidemic of Dead and Starving Sea Lions In California?
    At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die.
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/is-the-epidemic-of-dead-and-sick-sea-lions-in-california-from-fukushima-radiation.html

    Pacific Rim: how and why radiation from Fukushima entered the world’s largest ocean.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9SilFcYVg4

    WAKE-UP PEOPLE! WE ARE BEING NUKED BY JAPAN AND WE DON’T EVEN KNOW IT.

  • Jodee

    BBC NEWS – Fukushima leak is ‘much worse than we were led to believe’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23779561

  • Dish Pigger John

    It’s just like when you’re washing dishes in the restaurant and you give yourself a nick on the finger. Are you gonna bandage it? Of course not, you know that the blood dissipates in the water to levels that don’t matter :D

  • Your mom

    To everyone who has bit the medias hook on the whole radiation scare…. Well you might want to look into getting rid of your iphone, wifi, tv, and don’t go outside because we lots of radiation from the sun, oh and don’t fly anywhere. No x rays, ct scans, oh and put down the cigarets too. No bananas either those have radiation…

    Fact is the amount of fish that you would need to eat for the radiation to harm you, you would already be long dead from mercury poisoning…

  • RT

    Another “shock factor” piece of media. Stick with what you guys know.. SURFING. I want to see Dane ripping not some global warming/ omg we’re all going to die/ end of the world BS. Life’s too short.

  • Joana

    what about the Japan itself? Is there no risk of harm to them -or are they quiet for unknown matters?

  • Tom Gorman

    Keep believing its ok..can i sell you the Brooklyn bridge since you are all so gullible!!!Wake up it’s still leaking,so things will get worse not better!!!

  • pr

    It’s simple: if you don’t believe the very simple science / oceanography that Ken Buesseler is discussing, stay out of the Pacific Ocean for the rest of your life!

    In fact, even if you do believe him, stay out of the Pacific Ocean, just to be safe…

    P.R. Ph. D.

  • MIke Delanzo

    After the North American governments refused to fund testing, oceanographer Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the non-profit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass, along with Nicholas Fisher, a marine sciences professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and other concerned scientists, managed to secure private funding for a Pacific research voyage. The results?

    Cesium levels in the Pacific had initially gone up an astonishing 45 million times above pre-accident levels. The levels then declined rapidly for a while, but after that, they unexpectedly leveled off.

    In July, cesium levels stopped declining and remained stuck at 10,000 times above pre-accident levels.

    This means the ocean isn’t diluting the radiation as expected. If it had been, cesium levels would have kept falling.

    The finding suggests that radiation is still being released into the ocean long after the accident in March, 2011.

    Less than two weeks after the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster, Michael Kane, an investigative journalist, reported, “In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can “safely” absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life.”

    The radiation has absolutely reached the shores of North America. Water samples from across the continent have tested positive for unsafe levels of radioactivity. The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, by as much as 181 times.”This means that the complete ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean is now poisoned with radiation and we aren’t being warned.

    SAME GUY!!!! HUMMM

  • dgb

    Fukushima toxic water leak a Level 3 ‘serious incident’
    CNN — Aug 28
    Japan’s nuclear watchdog on Wednesday said a toxic water leak at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant has been classified as a level 3 “serious incident” on an international scale.
    The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it had made the decision after consulting with the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said Juntaro Yamada, a spokesman for the regulator.
    As news emerged last week of the leak of hundreds of tons of radioactive water from a storage tank, the NRA said it was planning to issue the alert, its gravest warning since the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami that sent three reactors at the plant into meltdown.

    This is what they are letting you know. Think about what they haven’t told you. The Japanese nuclear industry have a very long and well documented history of cover ups. Unfortunately, we just don’t find out until years and years later. All you really need to know about radiation is that none is good; anything over none is not good.

  • Center Line

    What’s this drop in a pool bullshit. Cop out answers.It’s a bad thing, just like stealing a candy bar or murdering someone. People generate a bunch of crap that is dangerous for money. The radiation in the ocean is not safe, just like sewage dumped into the ocean after a rain. After a while you might be able to see your hands under the water at some places,but you are always at risk with health.

  • Cris

    So your saying contaminated fish just rinse clean once they get to some clean water. But if a human is exposed its usually terminal. Why cant i wash the radio active isotopes off in the shower. Or drink some clean water and wash it all away like the fish can? Are they all just special in that way? Seems to me they cant get rid of the mercury we dumped in the ocean. So why is cesium so easily dismissed? And how do i get those special powers too?

  • Me

    Tired of you ‘live for today’ townie point boys. ‘Who cares?’ You should care or check yourself onto the short bus. Give me a break. We are all living in a dream that is more powerful than any of our perceived truths – I can’t wait until you kooks grow eyeballs out of your throats and birth deformed maggots of children. F.O.A.D., Humans.

  • http://www.nuclearcrimes.org A. Kishner

    I have posted my response to this article. Read ‘KEN BUESSELER AND HIS FUKUSHIMA-RELATED CLAIM THAT WE’RE OVERREACTING TO THE FEAR OF CANCER’ here: http://www.nuclearcrimes.org/buesseler.php

  • canuckcruiser

    Want verification? Just google “Recent Fukushima spills 300 tons radioactive material daily”. There are many sites that pop up with verification, including ABC News and Russian TV.

  • Wazel

    Radiation? Bahaha, Bra! Who cares? I don’t have time to worry about radiation, climate change, recycling or anything other that myself and surfing for that matter.

  • Bill

    @Mike Delanzo: Actually, Nicholas Fisher published a study in June through the National Proceedings of the Academies of Science pointing out that there was little concern. Here is the link: http://www.pnas.org/content/110/26/10670.full.pdf+html?sid=89e589c8-91bf-484e-9648-854929326d1d

    His conclusions: Although uncertainties remain regarding the effects of low levels of ionizing radiation on humans (30), it is clear that doses and resulting cancer risks associated with consumption of PBFT in eastern and western Pacific waters are low and below levels that should cause concern to even the most exposed segments of human populations. Fears regarding environmental radioactivity, often a legacy of Cold War activities and distrust of governmental and scientific authorities, have resulted in perception of risks by the public that are not commensurate with actual risks.

  • SOC

    This article IS the problem… Glossing over this issue as if everyone is making ‘too big of a deal about it’ IS the problem.

    You are the one pushing the idea that ‘it’ll all be okay’ and spreading that mis-information. Step up and call a spade a spade. This is a big deal.

    Fukushima is not done spewing radioactivity into the ocean. In fact, the rate at which radioactive material is being spewed into the ocean is currently increasing. (300 tons of radioactive water per day) And there are over 1300 rods that either have to be removed or will continue to spew more and more over time. And, these aren’t the friendly uranium rods… These are MOX plutonium mixture rods which are the dirtiest of the dirty.

    The corporations who caused this problem are too busy trying to ‘save face’ and they aren’t telling the truth… Your ‘measurements’ are delayed significantly… And after another few years of this problem, where will things be?

    This IS the level of disaster that deserves massive outrage… This IS the kind of thing that may render the oceans unfit for surfing for the next generation(s) of west-coasters.

    Only by properly identifying the seriousness of this problem, will we (as a global community) get enough support (and brilliant minds) together to come up with a RESOLUTION.

    Remember… West coast surfers are the canary in the coal mine here and we can either address this now or wait until the canaries start dying and then try to figure it all out.

  • GAZA

    If nuclear exposure is not such a big deal then how come all the Marshal Islanders are having to leave Their home for other Islands twenty-forty-sixty years after testing in their waters. And the fish not only swam away they stayed away;DEAD, not going to stop surfing,or taking my son to all the surfing spots but come we already know, now we just need to react!

  • MIke Delanzo

    BREAKING… Fukushima Crisis Escalates Tons of Radioactive Waste Released into the Pacific Causes Ocean to Boil…
    Posted about 1 day ago | 185 comments

    134K

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    By Nigel J. Covington III
    Editor-in-Chief

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe just minutes ago announced that an emergency at the unstable Fukushima Nuclear Plant less than an hour ago is responsible for dumping “thousands of tons of highly radioactive material into the Pacific Ocean.” The Prime Minister said the government has sent in its own nuclear experts who are teamed with TEPCO management who are now attempting to regain control of the facility.

    Japan has been anything but forthright with the people of the world about the Fukushima Nuclear Plant disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011.

    More than two years after the event just ten days ago it was announced that a “recent incident” had resulted in 300 tonnes (300 long tons; 330 short tons) of “heavily contaminated water” being leaked from a storage tank into the ocean daily.

    On August 26, the government decided to take over running the emergency measures to tackle the radioactive water leaks, reflecting a lack of confidence in TEPCO. Now four days after the government took control the plant “thousands of tons” of highly radioactive material was dumped into the Pacific. This incident could be as much as five times greater than the one of August 20, 2013. The government has not commented on the cause of the incident nor the effect this will have globally.

    Thirty-five minutes ago the government released a public statement calling for the immediate evacuation of residents within a 50 miles radius of the facility claiming the leaked material has caused the ocean to boil for several hundred yards offshore from the crippled plant.

    Almost two hours after today’s incident what’s being called the “Fukushima Plume of Death” is rapidly bearing down on Hawaii. It’s estimated once Hawaii is hit California will be hit about 90 minutes after. The effects of the nuclear plume are either unknown or being kept from the public. Neither the Japanese or American government has commented on what threat the plume may pose. Right now its anyone’s guess.

    - See more at: http://nationalreport.net/breaking-fukushima-crisis-escalates-tons-radioactive-waste-released-pacific-causes-ocean-boil/#sthash.6RXZtEcX.dpuf

  • Andy Brown

    The real deal with Fukushima is that it CANNOT BE FIXED, the reactor cores have gone AWOL, no-one exactly knows where they are. The whole site is a radioactive mess. The bodge cooling is necessary to stop another explosion, BUT, its done with salt water which is corroding the pipes AND making all sorts of ‘novel’ chemical reations that never happened before. The machines are so ‘hot’ that no human can go in there to fix it…. Same with the robots, they just get fried, its like saying…Oh Yeah, there is the Sun, I’ll just walk inside there, do some maintenance then walk out. No, nothing can go in there. Worse thing is that all the Nuke Bombs in the 1950′s and 60′s burned all the poson plutonium in a clean burn, near as. Fukushima is a dirty burn, dirty slow burn that will take 300 years to cool off. I sussed that the reason they tell no-one these facts is that ‘its the economy stupid’. The Japanese Yen and all that international trade, banking, derivatives, all linked up and if truth be told. Japan has 1 Quadrillion Yen in debts. How they going to pay back a cent when they don’t even own a glass of clean water? The global economy will collapse if radiation forces an evacuation of Tokyo’s 40 million population … Hence the media blackout. Yes boys and girls, its that bad. How bad, well on top of Reactor number 4 is 500 tons of highly toxic planetary biocide, extinction level. Watch out for steam explosions, that’s when the staff will have to evacuate the Dai’ichi plant ( pronounced ‘Die Each I’ ) . After that Planet Earth may have about 3 to 4 days before the most specatcular firework show you can possibly imagine. K. Y. A. G.

  • Andy Brown

    hello Guys editing ….

    I saw a few spelling errors in my comment that you are going to moderate.

    I corrected a few and here is a better version. Thanks.

    The real deal with Fukushima is that it CANNOT BE FIXED, the reactor cores have gone AWOL, no one exactly knows where they are. The whole site is a radioactive mess. The bodge cooling is necessary to stop another explosion, BUT, it’s done with salt water, which is corroding the pipes AND making all sorts of ‘novel’ chemical reactions that never happened before. The machines are so ‘hot’ that no human can go in there to fix it…. Same with the robots, they just get fried, its like saying…Oh Yeah, there is the Sun, I’ll just walk inside there, do some maintenance then walk out. No, nothing can go in there. Worse thing is that all the Nuke Bombs in the 1950′s and 60′s burned all the poison plutonium in a clean burn, near as. Fukushima is a dirty burn; dirty slow burn that will take 300 years to cool off. I sussed that the reason they tell no one these facts is that ‘its the economy stupid’. The Japanese Yen and all that international trade, banking, derivatives, all linked up and if truth be told. Japan has 1 Quadrillion Yen in debts. How they going to pay back a cent when they don’t even own a glass of clean water? The global economy will collapse if radiation forces an evacuation of Tokyo’s 40 million population … hence the media blackout. Yes boys and girls, its that bad. How bad, well on top of Reactor Number 4 is 500 tons of highly toxic planetary biocide, extinction level potential. You would not believe it, but, it is 100 foot up in the air in a concrete / stainless steel cooling pool, AND, if it springs a leak or has a cooling pump power cut, it spontaneously combusts into a radiological fire that cannot be extinguished – great innit. Its basically a booby-trapped planetary biocide bomb. Watch out for steam explosions, that’s when the staff will have to evacuate the Dai’ichi plant ( pronounced ‘Die Each I’ ) . After that Planet Earth may have about 3 to 4 days before the most spectacular firework show you can possibly imagine. K. Y. A. G.

  • Matt Buttrey
  • mikiy

    Please revise this blog post.

    The picture that this blog post uses is Tunamai scale map at 11 march 2011.
    Please think about current.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/candacewhiting/2013/08/28/fukushima-meltdown-has-not-polluted-the-entire-pacific-no-need-to-panic/

    Japanese surfers are enjoying surfing at pacific ocean side(Chiba,Ibaragi,Fukushima,Miyagi,Iwate,Aomori and Hokkaido).

  • Jacob

    I’m loving all the reactions in the comments here, and the media. You guys do realize that your microwave probably exposes you to more radiation than this, right? There might be some problems with fish in ocean bordering Japan, but you really dont have to worry about it you aren’t close to there, and certainly not from the water itself.

  • Engineer-Bill

    Jacob
    Read a physics book. Your comparison of what is coming across the Pacific to what is coming from your microwave is laughable. Gamma radiation from the fuel and waste that was at Fukushima has more than a million times the energy than that coming from your microwave.
    And….-THIS IS IMPORTANT- when you ingest this stuff, it continues to emit particles that puncture your internal organs like a paper target at the firing range….
    and the changes to the biology of you and what you produce (your children) could be totally screwed up because your genes could no longer be good representations of the original.
    This is SERIOUS whether you choose to believe it or not. It’s not a simple radiation exposure issue. It’s the exposure that you carry with you that doesn’t stop – ever.

  • Harry

    Those who don’t get the severity of this event won’t get it ever. This is a mass extinction event. It may take a few years or so but the plant has been leaking this whole time and it is only getting worse. The lack of fore site and planning to handle the most dangerous materials known to man on an earthquake and tsunami prone island in the middle of the pacific is treasonous to the human race planet and animals. GE designed the plant and tepco ran it. Should have been shut down long ago. The ramifications of this are un fathomable and the suffering this will cause will be immense. Nuclear energy is not safe at all no matter what anyone says. Atoms are not meant to be split. Life is too important.

  • Trish

    True or not, what can people in Japan like me do? I have students who refuse to eat any seafood, but I cannot do that indefinitely. The Fukushima daichi admitted that they dump 300 tons of radiated water in the ocean everyday and even the fishermen’s union is upset at their loss of livelihood. But what can I do really? Stop living my life? Stop surfing? Until when? True, we now drink only bottled waters from the western regions, but aside from that, I like sashimi and I like to surf. http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2013/fukushima_dumps_unavoidable

  • Shirokuma

    So disappointing to see people propagating fear with limited info. Cutting and pasting reports from sites with an agenda to disrupt.
    I have been there, spoken with TEPCO workers, have contact with the CMT (Crisis Management Team) and would hazard a guess that I have a more intimate knowledge of physics, radiation and dissipation than the supposedly learned posters who are drumming up phrases like “mass extinction event”.
    The end of the world will not come from Fukushima, rather from misinformation that is spread by man to reap profit at man’s expense. Way to make surfers look like the fools the movies portray us as guys. SMH.
    If you want to be informed then I suggest you go and study Nuclear Physics for 9 years+…or talk with someone who has.
    I wonder how many of you would take advice about taking the drop at Teahupo’o from a 15 year old whose only surfing experience was at his Grandma’s one Summer in Florida!

  • Andy Brown

    Really odd cancers are starting to turn up in California. Two types so far, the nose and throat cancers where the ‘bucky-balls’ hit first when you breath in nuclear waste. (BuckyBall is some kind of radioactive hot particle that sticks to your flesh then cancers you). Also the Thyroid Cancers because the Thyroid Gland uses iodine and the radioactive iodine goes staright there and kills you. Hot particles are coming in the air (and sea) from Fukushima to the West Coast USA and to the rest of the World. You kids have got to get serious about shutting down all nuclear reactors – Its illegal anyway under existing Chemical Weapons Treaties because nuclear waste is Chemical nano-Weaponry that indiscriminantly erases DNA to prevent new life and kills existing life by cancer. Nuclear reactors are extinction Machines, thats what they do. Nuclear Reactors are machines that mass produce and stockpile chemical weapons, both are illegal. The true cost is environmental bankruptcy, just like ENRON, off balance sheet accounting – except this fraud is to kill the planet. Period.

  • Cheri

    Of course a surfing magazine thrives as long as people keep surfing.. They would assure you it’s safe.

  • Sean

    What lazy cowardly reporting. Surfing owes nothing to the Pacific Ocean??? Owes nothing to water men and women whos lives depend on the Pacific’s health? Forcing TEPCO and the Japanese Govnt to accept international assistance and oversight is going to take alot of pressure. WTF is Surfing not on it?! http://bit.ly/1aAwoMr

  • Daniel

    The Surf Industry is basically nowhere to be seen. Appreciate the thread. Andy Brown captures the predicament well. God speed.

  • Rick

    The unsavory side of this ongoing fukushima mess is that the information has been suppressed, Tepco has admitted that they gave bad information as to the status and severity of the disaster, thus we all need 9 years of nuclear physics study to satisfy ourselves with the implications of what was leaking into the pacific, how much, and for how long. The good ole USA and the blabbering media sure are silent, and that’s not making me feel all warm and fuzzy. The cool thing to do is to make it seem that old uncle bob had 2 many beers and bought off on the doom and gloom…however…this has been belching toxic radiated waste into the pacific daily for just shy of 3 years now, even the best scientists don’t have answers on the ramifications of that…it’s projected to continue. I would really like to hear the world powers (USA) talking about helping japan brainstorm a way to remedy this and soon. The whales, dolphins and the rest of the aquatic life needs our serious attention now, or is ole uncle bob getting all goofy over fish?

  • ngant

    Young, healthy Pacific surfers suddenly and mysteriously dying of a heart attack. That is symptomatic of Cesium-137 isotopes, which diretly attacks cardiovascular system and hits the heart right away. Half life is +30 years. Get ready for the long haul as a landlubber.

  • John Vincent

    !!!YOU GOTTA BE A SPECIAL KIND OF STUPID TO BELIEVE THIS FABRICATED HORSE SHIT!!! Ps this dude is obviously a corporate phony… NACENT IODINE & POTASSIUM IODINE. there are many other natural remedies to reduce effects of radiation…