Radiation Attacks East & West


When it comes to radiation North America’s West is being attacked from the East and West.

Oregon shots

Lincoln City, Oregon… a great place to enjoy nature.  Merri and I go there often with my sister and mom.

Or at least it was and we did.

An article in the Yamhill Valley News Register entitled “Oregon bracing for tsunami debris” by Mark Floyd says:   As the one-year anniversary of the devastating March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake approaches, and debris from the ensuing tsunami moves closer to the West Coast, a group of Oregon agencies, university scientists, political staff, non-governmental organizations and others is preparing for its arrival.

This week, the group held a conference call to review Oregon’s response to the potential arrival of the debris and to chart a communication strategy to educate West Coast residents about what may happen. Questions directed at state and county leaders, Oregon State University Extension experts, the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center and others are increasing daily.

When will the debris arrive? Where will it land? Is there any danger of radioactivity?

What shall we do if we find something?

Jack Barth, an OSU oceanographer and expert in ocean currents, said the debris is still months away from arriving on the West Coast, though it is possible that strong winds may push some floating items that rise high above the surface more quickly to the North American shore. Floats from Japanese fishing nets have washed up on the Washington coast in recent weeks, but those haven’t been tied directly to the tsunami.

“Material from Asia washes up on the West Coast routinely,” Barth said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean it is tsunami-related. A Russian ship discovered a small Japanese fishing boat in the waters north of Hawaii in October that was definitively tied to the tsunami – and it was about where we thought it should be, given the currents.” NOAA reports no radiation was detected on the fishing boat.

Barth, who is the associate dean of OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, has met with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, and representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and various Oregon agencies and organizations in recent weeks. He said it is difficult to calculate how much debris remains in the ocean, and what exactly will arrive on our shore.

When and how it arrives is a matter of ocean physics, he pointed out.

“What remains should arrive here at the end of 2012, or the beginning of 2013,” he added. “If it arrives in the fall and winter, it will get pushed up north by the currents to Washington, British Columbia and even Alaska. Debris arriving in late spring and summer will hit Oregon and be swept south into California waters.”

What does arrive is unlikely to be dangerous, according to Kathryn Higley, professor and head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at OSU. Higley was one of the most widely cited scientists following the incidents at Japan’s Dai-ichi nuclear plant after the earthquake. She says the lag time between the tsunami and the nuclear incident, coupled with the vastness of the ocean, makes it unlikely that the debris will carry any danger from radiation.

“The major air and water discharges of radioactive material from the Dai-ichi plants occurred a few days after the debris field was created by the tsunami,” Higley pointed out. “So the debris field was spread out at the time the discharges occurred. This would have diluted the radiological impact.

“Secondly, wind, rain and salt spray have been pummeling this material for months,” she said. “The key radionuclides are composed of iodine and cesium – which are chemically a lot like chlorine and sodium. Most of the iodine has gone because of radioactive decay. The radioactive cesium, to a great extent, will be washed off and diluted in the surrounding ocean.

“Therefore, while we may be able to detect trace amounts of radioactive material on this debris, it’s really unlikely that there will be any substantial radiation risk,” Higley said.

NOAA is monitoring the debris from a national perspective and has a website that can educate the public and keep interested persons updated. It is at http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/.  The agency suggests that beachcombers and others who find material they think may be from Japan report it at disasterdebris@noaa.gov – and use common sense.

They write: “As with any outdoors activity, it is important to follow common sense and put safety first. Avoid picking up debris that you are not well-equipped and trained to handle. For example, be careful of sharp objects that could cut yours hands; avoid picking up sealed containers of chemicals – they may crack or break and spill the content on you; likewise, report any full drum on the beach, and avoid handling it yourself. If you are uncomfortable handling any debris item, leave it where it is.”

Patrick Corcoran, an OSU Extension Sea Grant specialist for the North Coast, said the focus thus far has been on research and “building the capacity to respond” to the arrival of the debris. Specific information on Oregon resources and contacts will be forthcoming, he said.

We can be pretty sure that debris will arrive from the Japan Tsunami in the USA.

The problem is we cannot trust what we hear when it comes to telling us about the radiations.

I know.  I have proof and think this has affected my health since I was a kid.

This article is NOT about whether nuclear energy is good or bad.  Instead it focuses on these three points….

#1: radiation is dangerous and we need to protect ourselves against it.

#2: There is a lot of radioactive material and waste around and more is being produced every day.

#3:Governments almost everywhere have a history of misinformation about the risks.

Industrialized lifestyles surround mankind with increased pollution of all types. One of the worst forms of pollution is radiation.   This creates health risks and economic and lifestyle problems and adds to the growing cost of health care.

Now the risks of increased radioactive exposure may enhance this concern.

Regretfully radiation exposure is not new and this report outlines how my wife and I,  just in the normal course of life have been exposed to radioactive materials again and again.

I was born in Portland, Oregon in 1946 and grew up on the Columbia River… an area that has great beauty… where everything was natural and pristine.

Well… almost.

Oregon shots

Rooster Rock State Park Oregon

As a child, on the hot muggy days of summer I used to accompany my family to Rooster Rock State Park (about a 15 minute drive from our home) and soak for hours in the Columbia River on this wonderful beach.  Surrounded by nature… swimming  in the cool water… running on the warm sandy beach.

Oregon shots

Columbia River at Rooster Rock State Park.

This seemed wonderful for our well being and health.

Turns out this was not exactly correct.

A report “Radionuclides in the Columbia River” published by the Washington State Department of Health shows how beginning in the 1950s “For more than 40 years, the U.S. government produced plutonium for nuclear weapons at the Hanford Site in south central Washington state.”

The report outlines how that river I swam in every day was radiated.  Even worse it goes to tell how this information was not released.

Fwd: nuclear-sites

The Hanford site from http://www.hanford.gov

The Hanford Site is now a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex on the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, operated by the United States federal government.  Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project in the town of Hanford in south-central Washington, the site was home to the B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world.  Plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the first nuclear bomb, tested at the Trinity site, and in Fat Man, the bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan.

Before we go further let me state again that this article is not arguing the good or bad pints of nuclear energy.  I know that this plant on one hand may have saved my life… or rather allowed it to begin.  My dad was a Seabee attached to the marines in WWII and was wounded in Iwo Jima.  He was sent to Hawaii to recuperate but was then scheduled to return for the invasion of Japan.  He told me that all his friends were really dreading this invasion. They dropped the bombs and the invasion disappeared and my dad came home.  Hence I came along (with 60 million other boomers) instead of more war.  Just maybe had they not had the bomb… I would never have existed….who knows?

Nuclear energy is a complicated issue… and maybe the government has a reason to lie about radiation.  The point here though is not to argue the pros or cons but to simply point out that they do…  lie about risks.  Or at least it has been proven again and again that they have lied… so what would make us expect they will be honest about radiation now?

When the government says there is no radiation risk from the Tsunami… we can’t just take their word for it.

Besides the tsunami radiation may be the least of our problems as we’ll see below.

Let’s return to Hanford on the Columbia River.  During the Cold War, the project was expanded to include nine nuclear reactors and five large plutonium processing complexes, which produced plutonium for most of the 60,000 weapons in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Many of the early safety procedures and waste disposal practices were inadequate, and government documents have since confirmed that Hanford’s operations released significant amounts of radioactive materials into the air and the Columbia River, which threatened the health of residents and ecosystems.

A huge volume of water from the Columbia River was required to dissipate the heat produced by Hanford’s nuclear reactors. From 1944 to 1971, pump systems drew cooling water from the river and, after treating this water for use by the reactors, returned it to the river. Before being released back into the river, the used water was held in large tanks known as retention basins for up to six hours.

Longer-lived isotopes were not affected by this retention, and several terabecquerels entered the river every day. These releases were kept secret by the federal government.  Radiation was later measured downstream as far west as the Washington and Oregon coasts.

That is the soup I used to swim in daily and at that time my lymph system went wonky.  I have worked on keeping swollen lymph nodes in check for the rest of my life.  Doctors say it is has affected the entire left side of my body.  Maybe that’s the cause or not… no one can prove this one way or the other though there have been numerous class action suits over this which I believe are still in litigation.

What we do know is the government misled the public… dumped radiation into the river and did not tell us.

The Problem Grows.

Fwd: nuclear-sites

Caption of this photo from http://www.hanford.gov

An excavator carefully picks up a drum overpack at the of the 618-10 Burial Ground, one of Hanford’s most hazardous. The overpack is used to encapsulate materials found in the burial ground so it can be evaluated and properly disposed.

The most significant challenge at Hanford is stabilizing the 53 million U.S. gallons of high-level radioactive waste stored in 177 underground tanks. About a third of these tanks have leaked waste into the soil and groundwater.

2.8 million U.S. gallons (10,600 m3) of liquid waste, together with 27 million U.S. gallons (100,000 m3) of salt cake and sludge, remains in the single-shelled tanks.  That waste was originally scheduled to be removed by 2018. The revised deadline is 2040.

Nearby aquifers contain an estimated 270 billion U.S. gallons of contaminated groundwater as a result of the leaks.  As of 2008, 1 million U.S. gallons  of highly radioactive waste is traveling through the groundwater toward the Columbia River.  This waste is expected to reach the river in 12 to 50 years if cleanup does not proceed on schedule. The site also includes 25 million cubic feet of solid radioactive waste.

The Hanford site represents two-thirds of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste by volume.

Yet a USA TODAY January 18, 2012 article entitled  “Problems plague cleanup at Hanford nuclear waste site” by Peter Eisler, says:  HANFORD SITE, Wash. – Seven decades after scientists came here during World War II to create plutonium for the first atomic bomb, a new generation is struggling with an even more daunting task: cleaning up the radioactive mess.

Hanford’s Reactor B made plutonium for the first atomic bomb ever detonated. It also produced the plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in World War II. It was shut down in 1968.

The U.S. government is building a treatment plant to stabilize and contain 56 million gallons of waste left from a half-century of nuclear weapons production. The radioactive sludge is so dangerous that a few hours of exposure could be fatal. A major leak could contaminate water supplies serving millions across the Northwest.

The cleanup is the most complex and costly environmental restoration ever attempted.

And the project is not going well.

A USA TODAY investigation has found that the troubled, 10-year effort to build the treatment plant faces enormous problems just as it reaches what was supposed to be its final stage.

In exclusive interviews, several senior engineers cited design problems that could bring the plant’s operations to a halt before much of the waste is treated. Their reports have spurred new technical reviews and raised official concerns about the risk of a hydrogen explosion or uncontrolled nuclear reaction inside the plant. Either could damage critical equipment, shut the facility down or, worst case, allow radiation to escape.

The plant’s $12.3 billion price tag, already triple original estimates, is well short of what it will cost to address the problems and finish the project. And the plant’s start-up date, originally slated for last year and pushed back to its current target of 2019, is likely to slip further.

“We’re continuing with a failed design,” said Donald Alexander, a senior U.S. government scientist on the project.

The Problem Does Not Stop in the West as it Moves East

Yet attempts to expand nuclear waste Eastward grows.  A 2011 article from the Billings Gazette by Joan Barron  says: CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A special task force studying ways to bring nuclear power to Wyoming wrapped up its work Monday but left the more controversial bills for another day.

The contentious bills that were set back included a proposal to authorize construction of one temporary high-level-radioactive-waste storage facility in Wyoming if at least one nuclear power-generating facility is operating in the state.

It Got Worse and Then Really All Went  South

South to the Savannah River.

Fwd: nuclear-sites

Photo from New York Times article “Cleaning the Savannah River Site”

The NYT article says:  The Savannah River nuclear site in Aiken, S.C., received one of the biggest stimulus awards — $1.6 billion — to clean up the radioactive waste from the production of nuclear materials for the nation’s weapons stockpile. Nearly a quarter of the money will be used to seal off two reactors that were built in the early 1950s to produce plutonium and tritium, including the P-Reactor, shown here.

The Savannah River Site is a nuclear reservation in of South Carolina, located on land in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell Counties adjacent to the Savannah River, 25 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia.  The site was built during the 1950s to refine nuclear materials for deployment in nuclear weapons. It covers 310 square miles (800 km2) and employs more than 10,000 people.

A major focus was cleanup activities related to work done in the past for the nation’s nuclear buildup.  However the site still has some operations as it is also home to the Savannah River National Laboratory and the nation’s only operating radiochemical separations facility. Its tritium facilities are also the United States’ only source of tritium, an essential component in nuclear weapons. And, the nation’s only mixed oxide fuel (MOX) manufacturing plant is being constructed at site. When operational, the MOX facility will convert legacy weapons-grade plutonium into fuel suitable for commercial power reactors.

Security is provided by Wackenhut Services, Inc.

Then last September a huge problem began.  Because of the controversy about storing radioactive waster at Yucca Mountain Nevada the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher said on Monday, September 19, 2011, that high-level nuclear waste once destined for the Yucca Mountain repository will be sent, instead, to the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site.

Good thinking,  moving the waste from a remote place into the center of one of the most populated parts of the cuntry.

map

Savannah River project is at the marker.

A September 29th, 2011 article by Susan Trento entitled  “Savannah River Site Gets Nuclear Waste – National Academy of Sciences Draft Report Confirms Nuclear Weapons Testing Not Needed: says:

The decision to use the Savannah River Site in South Carolina as a permanent storage facility is controversial. It is the most radioactive site in the United States. Aiken County, in which part of the site is located, sued the Department of Energy unsuccessfully when the Obama Administration decided not to use the multi-billion-dollar Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada for high-level nuclear waste storage that was supposed to be removed from SRS.

Currently, millions of gallons of high-level nuclear waste are stored in 49 leaking tanks on the site as well as huge amounts of surplus plutonium. Deadly chemicals and radiation will contaminate the facility for thousands of years. “The Bomb Plant,” as locals refer to the site, is uniquely unsuitable for a permanent nuclear waste repository, according to leading geologists. It sits on an earthquake fault and one of the most important aquifers in the South. The sandy soil and swampy conditions make it highly vulnerable to waste.

Protect Against Radiation Report

We need our own defenses against radiation which is why I created the Emailed Report: “Seven Steps to Protect Against Radiation Poisoning“.

Industrialization and the western lifestyle means we are now surrounded with increased pollution of all types. One of the worst forms of pollution is radiation and as we can see the risks of increased radioactive exposure may enhance this concern.

Regretfully radiation exposure is not new and this report outlines how my wife and I,  just in the normal course of life have been exposed to radioactive materials again and again.

The report outlines how I swam in the Columbia River during the 1950s every day and have dealt with health issues since .

Then the report shares how Merri and I were later radiated during the Chernobyl fallout.

Learn the seven steps we took to restore our good health after a serious radiation exposure from the Chernoyl nuclear accident and how this may help you if North America receives fallout from the nuclear accident in Japan or problems at the Hanford or Savannah sites.

Emailed Report: “Seven Steps to Protect Against Radiation Poisoning”.  See details of “Seven Steps to Protect Against Radiation Poisoning“.

When you order the report at our site we’ll email the report to you right away with our full satisfaction or money back guarantee.

Or you can order this report for your Kindle reader at Gary Scott at Amazon.com

The nuclear issue is complex.  Nuclear energy has good and bad points. Whether nuclear energy should or will be eliminated is not the issue here.

There are three facts.

#1: Radiation is dangerous and we need to protect ourselves against it.

#2: There is a lot of radioactive material and waste around and more is being produced every day.

#3: Many governments have a history of lying about the risks of radiation.

So each of us should protect ourselves from radiation. Hopefully our radiation report can help.

See below links to articles mentioned in this message and three online radiation tracking tools.

Gary

Two pluses for Ecuador… no nuclear plants and far from the waste from Japan.

Three radiation tracking tools:

http://japan.failedrobot.com/
http://www.epa.gov/enviro/facts/radnet/
http://gamma.tar.bz/maps/main/

Links to articles mentioned in this article

USA Today Problems plague cleanup at Hanford nuclear waste site

New York Times Cleaning the Savannah River Site

Billings Gazette article by Joan Barron

Savannah River Site Gets Nuclear Waste – National Academy of Sciences Draft Report Confirms Nuclear Weapons Testing Not Needed

 


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