So long and thanks for all the fish

With so many slow motion disasters coming at us sometimes it is hard not to despair. And then someone will say the most absurd thing and I have to laugh, ruefully, sadly at the profound depths of human folly. TEPCO, that fount of acumen and honesty has come out with a press release in which they thank the fishing industry:

Today, we have commenced operation of the groundwater bypass at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to many parties, including Fukushima Prefecture and members of the fishing industry, for their understanding in the operation of the groundwater bypass, which plays an important role among the countermeasures to suppress the increase of contaminated water.

The people who are contaminating the Pacific are generous to thank the folks whose livelihood they have already decimated and are programmed to totally eradicate within the space of probably 10 years. The bypass we would note will reduce the amount of groundwater leaking into the pacific by 80 tons… out of at least 400 tons:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Friday [September 21, 2013 dp] formally revised its groundwater flow simulation and now believes up to 400 tons of contaminated water is seeping into the Pacific every day from the damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The previous estimate was about 300 tons per day.

According to Tepco President Naomi Hirose, who was invited to appear as an unsworn witness at a special Diet committee session, the utility now believes 800 tons of groundwater are flowing each day into the compound and damaged reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Of that, 400 tons is getting into the underground floors of the four reactor buildings while the other 400 tons is reaching the Pacific, according to a Tepco analysis based on the new simulation.

As the other side of the Pacific is now waking up to the extreme effect this will have on fisheries and coastal communities. The California Coastal Commission is currently playing down the impacts, it issued a report in May which had anodyne conclusions. “Some degree of bio accumulation is likely once the radioactive plume has arrived along the West Coast…the additional dose of radiation … is commensurately small, and available evidence supports the idea that it will pose little additional risk to humans or marine life.” It’s one policy recommendation was understated, and this was only an “informational brief” for the Commission: “However, it should be noted that the long-term effect of low-level radiation remain incompletely understood, and that this understanding would benefit from increased governmental support for the monitoring of radioactivity in seawater, marine biota and the study of health outcomes linked to radiation exposure.”

Another set of West Coast researchers is less sanguine. In a report (behind member wall but summarized here) two scientists modeled the bio-accumulation over time of radioactive Cesium 137 in the marine food web. They concluded: “The levels of 137Cs predicted in biota (shellfish and fish) exceeded well above the 137Cs action level for commercial food/beverage of 1000 Bq/kg established by the Canadian Guidelines for Consumption following a Nuclear Emergency.”

Tonight on the TV there was a rerun of 2012, the disaster movie. I commented to my wife that the disaster will not be so quick and is already in progress,

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>