Fukushima emergency, what can we do? discusses today eight myths found in the Internet regarding what is certainly the World's worst nuclear catastrophe, warning against exaggeration, while also against denial.
This is a fact (actual radioactive deposition measured in the immediate aftermath of Fukushima catastrophe):
This is a myth (it actually represents risk of tsunami after the March 2011 Fukushima earthquake and not radiation in any way):
All the story at Fukushima emergency...
Update: the original post seems to have been deleted but I feel I don't have a choice here because it already has comments, etc. So I'm copy-pasting from the RSS feed for your reference:
We’ve spotted a number of myths about the Fukushima nuclear disaster on Facebook and in forums that we’d like nothing more than to debunk. The age of many of these myths is irrelevant, as every day brings forth “new” posts rooted in their misinformation.1, THE INFAMOUS PACIFIC OCEAN DEATH MAP
No, this is not a map of anything related to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It is a map of potential tsunami heights from NOAA.
While this misconception has been integral to creating awareness broadly over the ongoing situation, it has also seeded a lot of misinformation.
2, FUKUSHIMA RADIATION HIT SAN FRANCISCO
A recent video of a man at Half Moon Bay whose geiger counter alerted of high radiation levels while standing on the beach went viral, and has created an echo chamber of misunderstanding.
His geiger counter was detecting radiation, although it was naturally occurring radiation from the thorium-rich granite within the sand, and not from Fukushima. It’s equally perplexing that an official response from Dean Peterson, county environmental health director “noted that many innocuous items could spike the radiation levels in an area, including red-painted disposable eating utensils“. This seemingly sarcastic statement only furthered unrest over the issue, and took focus away from credible sources which have been reporting the phenomenon for the better part of a century.
Analysis of kelp has found that it has been contaminated to a certain low level. To what extent might be revealed by the further ongoing studies as the one lead by Ken Buesseler conducting analyses all along the West Coast from Alaska down to South California seaching for eventual Cesium 134/137 and Strontium contamination. ( Cesium‐137 = 1.4 Bq/m3 Cesium‐134 <0 .2="" bq="" font="" m3="">0>
Only a detailed mapped analysis would reveal the real extent of the Fukushima contamination of the ocean along the West Coast. Unfortunately no such study is at the time being conducted on West Coast soils.
Related: Safecast blog – Radiation on California Beaches
3, ALL FISH IN THE PACIFIC ARE NOW RADIOACTIVE
Based on test results from both California and Alaska, trace amounts of Fukushima radiation are in fact showing up in a few coastal fish, but certainly not all of them. Currently measured levels are at this point very, very low.
According to the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the oceanic plume is just starting to hit Alaska, and will begin hitting the majority of the West Coast in March2014. The numbers they are predicting will also be very low.
While all governments have proven to be a rather untrustworthy source for information on Fukushima, there are independent groups doing their own Cesium 134/Cesium 137 only testing up and down the coast and posting test results, and they too are not showing important level of contamination.
Though again they should test for strontium 90 and other radionuclides as well.
Related: Vancouver Food Radiation Monitoring, Loki Fish, and Berkeley University’s RadWatch.
While fish closer to Japan are showing high levels of radiation, on our coastal fisheries as far as Cesium 134 it is not yet present in high amount.
But you have to keep in mind that any amount of internal contamination, low or high can be fatal.
4, AN UNDERGROUND EXPLOSION IS HAPPENING AT FUKUSHIMA
Multiple reports by TEPCO around Christmas 2013 of steam rising from Reactor 3 have prompted interpretations from all corners of the internet.
Steam rising from Reactor 3 is nothing new. It happens regularly, and has been happening since day one of the incident.
What caused the steam over Fukushima reactor 3? There are a few reasons; The steam has a habit of forming after rainfall in the area, and some experts say the rain is making its way down to the reactor core, heating up, and evaporating.
Many people also believe the reactor core has breached both primary and secondary containment, and portions of it may still be fissioning which produces steam. Steam is not a good thing, but it is not a new thing, and there was no underground explosion.
In fact multiple radiactive toxic gassing is permanently occuring on Daiichi site, that is very alarming in itself. Continually releasing a heavy load of radionuclides into our atmosphere, carried in every direction by the winds, bioaccumulation into the sea and onto the lands.
5, THE OTHER MAP; NRC FALLOUT MAP
After inquiring with the NRC directly, this was their response:
Hello Mr. Mattingly,
The “radiation plume” map was an anonymously produced falsehood and not a creation of the NRC or any other government agency. The creators of the false map also used the logo of the Australian nuclear regulator. The “Pacific deadzone” map has also been debunked as a distortion of a tsunami height simulation. The third map in that collage is also a complete falsehood.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Scott Burnell Public Affairs Officer U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
This doesn’t mean that North America was not hit with radiation; The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization runs an International Monitoring System with 321 sensors worldwide.
Below is a map of what those sensors picked up. According to the sensor data, 1000 bequerels per square meter (1Kbq/m2) fell on the Western Seaboard of North America. If you would like to view the actual sensor data, accompanied with additional maps, you can do so here.
6, EVERYTHING IN THE PACIFIC IS DYING BECAUSE OF FUKUSHIMA
I am sure many of you have seen all of the reports of mass die-offs all over the pacific, herring in British Columbia bleeding from their eyeballs, the sea stars melting away all along the entire coast, polar bears and sea lions have mysterious oozing sores and their fur is falling out, a two headed whale washing up on shore, the sardine population collapsing, and countless more.
The problem with this myth is that scientists have yet to give a solid explanation for any of these. Not a single one of them. Is it from Fukushima? We don’t know. We thought we would mention this one as it is noteworthy, and everyone wants to know.
Is the entire ocean floor now 98% covered in dead sea life like many articles are stating? No. This National Geographic article is where all of that originated is only talking about one localized area, and it is only sea salps they are talking about. Again, they do not know what is causing it, and the entire ocean floor is not covered with dead animals.
As much as we would love to give you a solid answer on this topic, the data to prove, or disprove it, simply isn’t available at this point, so there is no point in assuming.
Though they are several species severely affected and dying in various locations, there might be actually several factors involved : acidification of the ocean, virus, Fukushima contamination.
At this point it is therefore not conclusive and totally unfitting to amalgam all those happenings and to say that they are all caused only by Fukushima contamination.
7, POTASSIUM IODIDE WILL PRESERVE MY HEALTH
The answer to this is double-sided; Different types of radiation do different things to your body. Some mimic calcium, some mimic potassium, some mimic iodine, etc. Potassium iodide is a form of iodine. When you take it, it fills up your thyroid gland with non-radioactive iodine, thus not leaving any room for radioactive iodine to be taken in.
It will only protect your thyroid. Potassium Iodine only protects your thyroid gland from Iodine 131 a radionuclide released at the first stage of a nuclear disaster and it has a radioactive decay half-life of about eight days . And it should therefore be taken at the very early stage of the disaster or few hors prior to enter a contaminated zone. It does not protect your body from the many other radionuclides released during a nuclear disaster.
Potassium iodide therefore should only be taken in the event of a radiological disaster. It has the potential to cause adverse health effects, however the potential risks are far lower than allowing radioactive iodine into your thyroid.
At the moment, Fukushima is not releasing anymore Iodine 131 into the atmosphere to warrant taking it. It is however a good idea to eat foods that are naturally high in iodine such as Southern Atlantic Seaweed, and leafy greens to not only protect yourself from possible future releases, but also for your health in general.
If there is another major event at Fukushima, or elsewhere, you should have a conversation with a licensed medical professional on how much you should be taking, and for how long, depending on your geographical location, and proximity to the event.8, PEOPLE NEED TO EVACUATE THE WEST COAST
If the ongoing situation at Fukushima became toxic enough to warrant an evacuation of the West Coast, there would really be no safe place to evacuate to.
The radiation could circle the globe in a matter of days, just as the original plume from Fukushima did, and eventually pollute the entire planet.
However for smaller incidents, it’s not a bad idea to avoid the initial dispersal zone if it’s an
We advise people, to read, dig deeper and verify any news article before to believe and share out an information, the gravity of the ongoing Fukushima disaster and its slow but sure contamination of our biosphere and of our food chain is bad enough, exaggerations, sensationalism are totally unneeded and uncalled for.
We should stick to trhe facts and not extrapolate too far, we should all act with a proper sense of responsibility, face the real problem but not feed into a paranoia.
We advise people to learn to measure radiation, and to learn as well basic radiation protective measures.
We advise you as a precautionary measure to not eat Pacific Ocean products, any tiny radionuclide present in any food is just a Russian roulette bullet waiting in due time to hit you.
Note: the original entry was not written by Citizen Perth, the usual author of Fukushima emergency..., but by some Dun Renard. This may have something to do with the deletion (???) - ask them.