A government expert called the Fukushima fallout in California ‘a thousand times greater than we expected’ several days after the Fukushima explosion, but you are likely just now hearing about it.
The estimations of fission products (i.e. carcinogenic and radioactive particles) being leaked into the ocean and carried by currents to the Pacific Coast of the U.S. are staggering. From the start of this crisis, understandably, people have wanted to look the other way. It is a huge issue, and it seems there is little we can do about it, but this is not true.
The following information is meant to enlighten you on the subject, not scare you. I don’t believe in fear-mongering, but rather, education. For this reason, you can skip to the end of the article if you want for suggestions about how to mitigate the effects of radiation with diet and herbs, but obviously we need to make it clear to governments and the nuclear industry that this kind of accident will never be tolerated again, and that nuclear energy, is quite literally, toxic.
The expert stated that:
“Releases at these levels would mean ‘many hundreds of kilograms’ of ‘many other fission products!’”
In this report from July, 2014, conducted by the World Meteorological Society and the Internal Civil Aviation Organization, it is stated that:
“Fukushima fully showed reliable source terms for assessing accident severity and consequences in real-time were not readily available in the early phase… The inherent uncertainty involved poses questions in the accuracy of the modeled results which could differ from the observation by orders of magnitude.”
This is corroborated by the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), by WMO team member Gerhard Wotawa, et al, 14th Conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling:
“Only minutes after the [Unit 1 explosion] was disclosed, the first model simulation of the emergency response system was initiated…source term was estimated based on experiences from Chernobyl… a continuous release rate of [100 quadrillion Bq/day of Iodine-131], [10 quadrillion Bq/day of Cesium-137] and [10 quintillion Bq/day of Xenon-133]… CTBTO [data was used, which has] a very high accuracy…
The plume left Japan and… reached the western coast of North America on March 18… [The] ZAMG… estimate amounted to about [400 quadrillion Bq of I-131] and [40 quadrillion Bq of Cs-137]… Indication is found that significant amounts of 131I, 137Cs and 133Xe were already set free during the first days of the accident, exceeding initial estimates by orders of magnitude.
Not only were actual measurements in California thousands of times higher than ZAMG/CTBTO estimates (see chart, Mar. 21, 24-25), the models failed to account for the ‘significant’ amounts of radionuclides initially released — which were ‘orders of magnitude’ beyond predictions. In light of this, it’s worth reviewing the response of nuclear power advocates to Wotawa’s underestimates.”
Of course, there are people who say these claims are alarmist or over-stated, like Jan Zeman of Brookhaven National Lab. In response to Wotowa’s claims, Zeman says:
“Wotawa’s claims are overstatements possibly multiple orders of magnitude higher than the actual reality. This is especially embarrassing as he works for CTBTO… popular “science” journals in USA [have bought] into such ‘ideas’, because the sensationalism is still extremely high there… [These] most probably startlingly incorrect conclusions [were] presumably designed not just to get media attention and scare the traditional Austrian antinuclear activists, but whole the world…
The Cs-137 nuclei… is the most dangerous fission contaminant… it has very high gamma decay energy [and] high affinity to soil [as well as] living organisms… Chernobyl disaster emitted ~36.9 kilograms of Cs-137…Wotawa wants us to believe that almost half of this amount (17.4 kg) of Cs-137, was released into the environment at Fukushima in just one day… Everybody would have problems surviving even just hours in the [plant’s] immediate surroundings…
[There’d also be] many hundreds of kilograms of [radionuclides such as] Sr-90… Zr-95, Np-239, Mo-99, Ce-141, Ce-144… and many other fission products!… the overheated but intact reactors [note: all 3 not intact] in the intact containments [note: all 3 containments are not intact] were vented [note: venting was unsuccessful] through the pressure suppression chamber water [note: suppression chambers failed]…
Three Mile Island accident [is what to compare this to] – as is done by those, who are not so zonked by their greatness… [T]he water is… not spreading far [note: it’s spreading across entire N. Pacific, and beyond], is relatively contained [note: Tepco:,’It’s not under control’] in the underground trench and can be pumped out [note: ‘pumping it out of tunnels will not work’]… and then decontaminated [note: ‘impossible to remove hundreds of radioactive materials’]… Mr. Wotawa’s figures… would be immediately dangerous to life… I think the likely orders of magnitude overstated conclusions of the CTBTO employee can serve as the example of the antinuclear exaggerations.”
‘NOT for Distribution U.S. Energy Docs’
But in a document labeled “Not for Distribution, Internal Use Only,” the US Energy Department even estimated that the Fukushima release was up to 10,000 times what nuclear regulators predicted. And where exactly did all that nuclear waste go? In the ocean. It doesn’t just wash away, either. If anything, the total fallout is still completely unknown, even as U.S. officials say its ‘all clear.’
In another document compiled by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather Service, titled, “Ocean Plume Modeling for the Fukushima Daiichi Event,” these estimates of possible contamination were given:
“Coastal releases ignored. According to TEPCO estimates, coastal releases are 1% of atmospheric releases… Not important for far-field estimates (i.e., exposure for US territories)”
- “Scenarios used [are] NRC source scenario [and] DOE Supercore source scenario”
- Regarding Cs-137 release estimates, “NRC and DOE differ by three orders of magnitude” [i.e. DOE estimate is 1,000 to 9,999 times more than NRC]
- “Enormous uncertainty in total amount of contamination released at FDNPP”
- “Whereas the large differences between the NRC and DOE sources are crippling from a scientific perspective, they proved useful from the perspective of decision making…”
“DOE much too high at… JAMSTEC observation line 30km offshore [and] overestimates Cs-137 by order of magnitude [predicting a] maxima of around 100 Bq/L for Cs-137… JAMSTEC realistic contamination levels would be factor 10 smaller (10 Bq/L).”
What we Can Do
I don’t think there are enough experts out there to honestly and accurately determine just how bad the fallout is – and it will likely take years for us to experience the results first hand. Nature responds in cycles, after all, from the smallest creatures, up the food chain to the largest, so here’s what we can do about it in the meantime:
- Tell your governments you don’t want any more nuclear. One senior nuclear expert urged California to shut down its last nuclear plant.
- Don’t believe the lies spouted by the nuclear industry – it isn’t cheaper, cleaner, or needed to fill ‘energy’ gaps.
- Protect your thyroid from radiation-induced cancer by eating your iodine.
- Eat your greens, exercise, get as much fresh air as possible, bathe in mineralized water, use bentonite clay, add herbs that are heavy metal detoxifiers and chelators including Tulsi (holy basil), cilantro, parsley, and sulfur-foods like garlic, onions, and chives as natural ways of offsetting radiation exposure.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.