Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 2013: Fukushima: Getting Worse, Going Out Of Control

UPDATE 10/13/13:



Ten Years Of Fukushima Radiation In The Pacific Ocean (See description at video)

This isn't going away anytime soon. And yet, not a peep about it from the US government.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Addition:

Please sign this petition to call on the world community to take charge at Fukushima



China Syndrome at Fukushima plant? We are seeing information withheld, misinformation and media black out. The global nuclear industry is covering this up. No other excuse.

I will continue to post about this crisis as the Pacific Ocean is irradiated with no urgency displayed on the part of the world community which is truly chilling.

Please refer to link for Fukushima Diary on the side of this website for updated information.

NO NUKES

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also see:

Risky Repair Of Fukushima Could Spill 15,000 Times The Radiation Of Hiroshima



Fukushima Reactor 4 today.

Notice that it has no roof. The spent fuel rods (and about 200 “fully loaded” unspent rods — remember that “reactor 4 had been de-fueled” prior to the accident) are stored in a water-containing chamber high off the ground in a crumbling room and building without a roof.

How will “they” get the damaged fuel rods out of that crumbling room?

This is the problem today. There are about 1300 fuel rods stored in that room, packed together vertically in racks. Think of a pack of cigarettes standing upright with the top of the pack removed. Normally, the movement of fuel rods is done by a computer-driven machine that reaches into the room from above and removes or replaces a fuel rod by drawing it upward or lowering it downward.

The machine knows to the millimeter where each fuel rod is located. Also, the rods are undamaged — perfectly straight.

The problem is that this pack of cigarettes is crumpled, and the process must done manually. Therefore, the likelihood that some of the fuel rods will break is high. If that happens and fuel rods are exposed to the air — BOOM. What does “boom” look like?

Fukushima’s owner, Tokyo Electric (Tepco), says that within as few as 60 days it may begin trying to remove more than 1300 spent fuel rods from a badly damaged pool perched 100 feet in the air. The pool rests on a badly damaged building that is tilting, sinking and could easily come down in the next earthquake, if not on its own. Some 400 tons of fuel in that pool could spew out more than 15,000 times as much radiation as was released at Hiroshima.

Meanwhile, at the rest of the site:

More than 6,000 fuel assemblies now sit in a common pool just 50 meters from Unit Four. Some contain plutonium. The pool has no containment over it. It’s vulnerable to loss of coolant, the collapse of a nearby building, another earthquake, another tsunami and more.

Overall, more than 11,000 fuel assemblies are scattered around the Fukushima site. According to long-time expert and former Department of Energy official Robert Alvarez, there is more than 85 times as much lethal cesium on site as was released at Chernobyl.

If the whole site blows, “boom” could mean the release of 85 times as much radioactive cesium into the air as was released at Chernobyl. Into the air. Into a stiff cross-Pacific breeze.

There are a number of people warning of this danger; none are getting much play. For example, this from the Japan Times (quoted here):

In November, Tepco plans to begin the delicate operation of removing spent fuel from Reactor No. 4 [with] radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. …. It remains vulnerable to any further shocks, and is also at risk from ground liquefaction. Removing its spent fuel, which contains deadly plutonium, is an urgent task….

The consequences could be far more severe than any nuclear accident the world has ever seen. If a fuel rod is dropped, breaks or becomes entangled while being removed, possible worst case scenarios include a big explosion, a meltdown in the pool, or a large fire. Any of these situations could lead to massive releases of deadly radionuclides into the atmosphere, putting much of Japan — including Tokyo and Yokohama — and even neighboring countries at serious risk.

A lot depends on what blows up, if anything. If only Unit 4 blows up, Japan is at risk, including Tokyo, and the nuclear dust will pass across the Pacific to the U.S. People on the West Coast will be warned to keep their windows closed for a while.

If the whole facility blows up, one scientist is talking about moving her family to the southern hemisphere. From the article quoted above: Chernobyl’s first 1986 fallout reached California within ten days. Fukushima’s in 2011 arrived in less than a week. A new fuel fire at Unit 4 would pour out a continuous stream of lethal radioactive poisons for centuries.

We’re in very apocalyptic territory, with a wide and unknown range of outcomes. Take that for what it’s worth — little could go wrong, or much.

Should TEPCO be allowed to attempt this on its own?

Should Japan be allowed to attempt this on its own?

This is the heart of today’s problem. In reality, the events that are about to unfold at Fukushima in the next 60 days will affect much of the world. They could in fact change life in the northern hemisphere, if the worst of the worst occurs.

The Japanese government has ceded control of the next phrase — removing more than 1300 fuel rods from Reactor 4 — to TEPCO. (Seems that Japan has a “corporate capture of government” problem similar to our own.)

End of excerpt.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am stunned that the world community is sitting idly by allowing this. I suppose at this point all we can do is pray and hope these rods are removed with nothing going wrong. How certain do you feel about that though with TEPCO in charge?



Rossi et al. / Deep-Sea Research I

This computer projection shows the estimated extent of the Fukushima spill's plume of radioactive water in 2014. The extent of U.S. coastal waters is indicated by a black line, with a black box enclosing Hawaii.

Reports claim that cesium-137 has been "diluted" to fall below dangerous limits for humans. Personally, I'm not thrilled about ANY cesium-137 in my body at ANY limit contrived to get corporations off the hook for irresponsible actions.

It also shows a blatant disrespect for our waters, oceans and other species.


Pacific Currents



Looks perfectly safe to me...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also see:

Fukushima Leak Is Much Worse Than We Were Led To Believe

Fukushima Radiation Spiking Suddenly

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hurricane Sandy: Help Rebuild A Firefighter's Home

Update October 4th: Video reached over 5,200 hits. Thanks to any and all who helped through viewing it here.

Do the KIND Thing: Help Rebuild A Firefighter's Home

From site:

"Thousands of homes destroyed. Millions of lives changed forever. The crazy part? Hurricane Sandy was almost one year ago and lives are still being affected today. Through KIND’s recent partnership with clean water organization, Waves for Water, a light was shone on just how detrimental the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy still is today. John Gelalia’s story is especially powerful. The retired New Jersey firefighter saved countless lives and homes after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on his town and the East Coast. Although John’s own home was thankfully sustained, everything in it was destroyed: his furniture, all of his belongings, flooring, electricity; everything. John was living in FEMA house shelters up until March when, without anywhere else to go, he returned to his completely gutted house where he has been living since.

How KIND and Waves for Water are making a difference:

Knowing all he did for those during the super storm and the unfortunate challenges he is facing today, KIND felt it necessary to take action and will be partnering with Waves for Water to complete a $10,000 renovation on John’s home.

While $10,000 will help, we are looking to the community to help further our initiative through the steps below:

· Donate directly to Waves for Water here to help further fund this project.

· Watch and share this story about Jon Rose and Waves for Water contributions to the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Watching this story will not only help shed light on this issue, but KIND will also donate an additional $1 to the renovation project for each video view (up to $5,000)".

Video currently has over two thousand hits. Help them get to 5000.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is such a worthwhile cause I had to pass it on. Waves For Water is an organization bringing water and water filters to people globally. All you have to do is watch the video above a few times in order to see a $1 go to renovating this man's home. The 1 yr anniversary of Hurricane Sandy is coming October 29. It sure would be good to know that this man and all who still need a place to live have one.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Worrying Molecule Found In Bottled Water



Worrying Molecule Found In Bottled Water

David Bradley

German researchers have used a combination of bioassay work and high-resolution mass spectrometry to pin down the source of endrocrine-disrupting behaviour in 18 bottled water products. Of 24,520 suspect chemicals, the one that showed consistent results across all tests and displayed anti-androgenic and anti-estrogenic activity is di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate (DEHF).

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which interfere with an organism's hormonal systems, have been implicated in developmental and reproductive effects seen in nature and human medicine. More recently, suspicions have been raised that they might also increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Of particular concern and public controversy have been bisphenol A (BPA) and the phthalates, organic compounds that mimic sex hormones.

Martin Wagner and Jörg Oehlmann of the Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, and Michael Schlüsener and Thomas Ternes of the German Federal Institute of Hydrology, have turned their attention to bottled water given growing concerns that such products might contain worrying levels of EDCs. Wagner and colleagues obtained data on the anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity of 18 bottled water products. The researchers then combined the data from water that showed such activity and found trace amounts of up to 24,520 different chemicals were present.

snip

‘This work is a "tour de force" in identification of endocrine disruptors in packaged materials, says EDC expert Bruce Blumberg of the University of California, Irvine. He suggests that, ‘it is a bit early to make any strong inferences about how detrimental these chemicals will be toward human health,’ but adds that ‘It is certain that they are not beneficial.’ Moreover, Blumberg believes that this type of analysis, ‘will be very important for our future understanding of what chemicals we are routinely exposed to and which of these pose hazards of being endocrine disruptors.’

End of Excerpt

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Through the use of slick ad campaigns and the constant misinformation put out regarding tap water sales of bottled water are booming. That not only harms the environment but studies like the one above are revealing that these slick campaigns to make you think bottled water is safer than tap water are honestly, bunk. Now, I know from speaking to people about this that they all claim tap water doesn't taste good. And of course in our spoiled society that should be the first thing that matters. Right?

I myself boil water at home and make iced herbal tea or just drink the water. I use a filter on my tap and feel much more at ease. I never felt "safe" drinking bottled water and have always considered that buying it only exacerbates plastic waste in our oceans and landfills as well as exacerbating climate change (drought) and pollution.

This particular article concerns me greatly considering the article below, the stats in it which I will note. I would suggest people do some research before even contemplating consuming bottled water not only in regard to their own health but also the effect it has on our environment. Buy a filter and boil your water if it makes you feel safer. It is much better in the long run than taking a chance on a product that could well be poisoning you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cost Of Bottled Water Vs.Tap Water: The Difference Will Shock You

From link:

Americans spent $11.8 billion dollars on bottled water in 2012, the latest data available from the BMC. This represented a 6.5% increase from 2011, during which the bottled water industry made $11 billion.

That $11.8 billion was spent on nearly 9.7 billion gallons of water, putting the average cost at $1.22/gallon. 64% of this amount, however, was spent on single- the 16.9oz/500 mL container mentioned above which can push costs up to $7.50/gallon. American Water Works Association showed that tap water costs only $0.004 a gallon, less than 1/300 the cost of bottled water.

And we are the biggest bottled water drinkers on the planet in terms of sheer volume: China has been catching up as of late, having consumed 7.7 billion gallons to our 9.7 billion. But we still account for 15% of total world consumption, which stands at about 61.4 billion gallons annually. And somewhat surprisingly, we drink more bottled water than bottled soda on an annual basis, according to the BMC. Though Europe was the originator of bottled water (Perrier is, after all, French), largely due to earlier tap water supply issues, America now drinks almost three times as much bottled water as the largest European consumer, Italy (3 billion gallons).

Bottled water consumption and sales have increased 312% and 371%, respectively, since BMC began tracking dollar amounts in 1991. In that year, Americans spent $2.5 billion on 2.4 billion gallons about $1.07/gallon.

We have also more than tripled our bottled water intake per capita since 1991, from 9.8 gallons per person annually to 30.8 i n 2012, the highest level on record. Mexico is the world leader in gallons consumed per person, though, at 65.5; the U.S. ranks 11th. The rest of the top 5 are: Italy, 49.9; Thailand, 44.9; United Arab Emirates, 43.2; and Belgium/Luxembourg, at 38.3.

"What’s most remarkable about this data, though, is what it says about the American consumer: that despite the (debatably) excessively high cost of bottled water when compared to its tap equivalent, we continue to buy it – even during an economic downturn," writes Colas. "While Americans did cut back slightly on bottled water during the recession about -3% over the course of 2008-2009 consumption hit a new all-time high in 2012 and shows no sign of stopping."

End of Excerpt

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are we Americans so special that we think nothing of consuming this resource so rapaciously as over a billion people on our planet go without access to clean water or sanitation? WE NEED AN INTERVENTION in this country! Wake up America. You are being duped by globalization into contributing to the thirst of millions of people as well as the continued choking of our world in plastic. That without even mentioning the toxic chemicals including Endocrine Disruptors you might just be consuming in your zeal to make these companies rich as they suck the life out of developing countries and our own to serve arrogance and greed.

And now, as we see rivers like the Colorado in danger of dwindling away due to overuse and climate change it becomes even more imperative to step back and reflect on just where we are going. Will you allow these companies to suck the Great Lakes dry for profit just because we think we are entitled to it regardless of the cost? If so, it is a sad statement of what we have become.

Although to also make note, I also understand that as we see more "Fracking" taking place we will see more instances where water supplies will be contaminated. I am sure bottled water companies are salivating over it. Another reason why we must stand up to BAN Fracking.

~~~~~~~~

Experts: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Pose Global Health Threat

In an editorial published in Endocrinology, a journal of The Endocrine Society, endocrine experts agreed that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) pose a threat to human health and to the ecosystems of the earth. The editorial comes in response to a commentary (Dietrich et al. Chem Biol Interact) signed by a number of editors of toxicology journals that dismisses the state-of-the-science on EDCs and argues for the status quo in the regulation of these hazardous substances.

EDCs are commonly found in food and food containers, plastic products, furniture, toys, carpeting, building materials, and cosmetics. They are often released from the products that contain them and enter the bodies of humans and wildlife through dust or through the food chain. A large volume of studies have shown that EDCs exert their effects by interfering with endogenous hormone action and can impact male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology.

"The Dietrich et al. paper neglects the fundamental principles of how the endocrine system works and how chemicals can interfere with its normal function, nor does it consider the consequences of that interference," said Andrea Gore, PhD, lead author of the editorial and Editor-in-Chief of Endocrinology. "We cannot have sound policies for regulating these chemicals when we ignore the science."

The Endocrinology editorial, Gore et al., represents an unprecedented response from the endocrine community. The editorial was signed by 20 editors-in-chief and 28 associate and senior editors of endocrine, neuroendocrine, environmental, and other peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Teresa Woodruff, PhD, President of The Endocrine Society and several other presidents of societies or medical organizations have also signed on to the editorial.

~~~~~~~~

Is it really worth it? They count on you just relying on what they tell you and "trusting" them. You can't. Simple as that.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

China's Disappearing Rivers: Is Climate Change to Blame?



Renmants of dried up Shiyang River next to coal plant. (More photos at link.)

China's Disappearing Rivers: Is Climate Change to Blame?

China's recently published "water census" shows that as many as 28,000 rivers have vanished from the country since the 1990s. It's a trend, the report suggests, that's likely to continue. But the causes of this problem are a little murkier. The "census" offers no reason for the disappearance of so many water sources.

In some places, like Minqin, where the Shiyang River has run dry, Beijing insists that climate change is to blame. Residents disagree. The government built a sizable upstream reservoir nearby two decades ago to irrigate a large farm. That cut off the water supply for residents.

Regions like Gansu, where Minqin is located, are some of the country's driest. And the government tends to rely on big projects like giant dams and diversion channels to address its water problems. Desperate for growth, officials are, in some cases, choosing between water and electricity.

"China is looking always at mega-projects rather than addressing the root causes," Zhou Lei, a fellow at Nanjing University who studies the affects of industry on the environment, tells Reuters. "They experiment with technologies to treat the problem, like the water transfer projects being done right now, but they are draining resources in a very wrong way."

End of Excerpt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Abstract:Effects of climate change and human activities on runoff in the Nenjiang River Basin, Northeast China

There is no denying that dam projects (particularly the Three Gorges Dam Project) and various diversion schemes (reminiscent of Russia's diversion of the Aral Sea) have been a factor in this. However, I too agree that climate change is now having an overriding effect in China due to increased flooding, drought and heatwaves (evaporation) that all effect water levels and exacerbate schemes to cope with it. Also, the realization that burning coal is adding to the effects of climate change and water scarcity has led to a dangerous increase in hydro-power dams that in the end wind up exacerbating the very problems that have led to the crisis.

Integrating conservation with sustainable agriculture and renewable energy sources such as solar while working to scale back on these temporary fixes would go a long way to preserving the resources China still has. It is truly sad to see this happening, but it is a stark example of how unbridled use of resources to attain progress without proper planning ends up being counterproductive to the initial goal.



The effects of climate change on agriculture due to its effects on water will make it imperative for more agricultural collectives, community agriculture and initiatives to conserve water as well as working to fight pollution.

Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture

Worsening Water Scarcity To Impact 2 Billion Globally

Humanitarian Disaster in the Sahara

Algeria has stranded 13,000 migrants in the Sahara forcing them to walk across it in response to EU directive to North Africa to lessen mi...