Our sea food is contaminated. Not the air.
There have been no inspections to determine how much radioactive material has leaked into the sea.
Radiation levels in fish caught near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remain high long after the 2011 meltdowns there, suggesting contamination from the site might still be seeping into Pacific waters, a U.S. researcher reported Thursday. - CNN
There is a potential for as many as 700,000 deaths from sea food contaminated by Fukushima Daichi.
How serious is the problem?
Radioactive iodine was found as far away as Wisconsin, but this last only about 6 months.
The problem is that radioactive iodine indicates a broad range of other radioactive elements were also boiled off into the environment.
The North Pacific - Kuroshio Current flows from 40 to 120 kilometer each day over a distance separating Japan from California of just under 9,000 kilometer. Radioactive sea water began to contaminate the Pacific from California to Alaska in March 2012.
This carries sea water from Japan to the west coast of the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Plutonium dispersal estimates are 2 fatalities per pound (25 in cities). There is about 300,000 pounds of plutonium at Fukushima Daichi.
That is just one radioactive element. Fukushima Daichi also released radioactive iodine, cesium, molybdenum, europium, and samarium.
Iodine and many radioactive metals turn pink and yellow when mixed with rain water. Radioactive iodine levels have increased in Tokyo drinking water. Metal vapor and iodine vapor are black. Black vapor was observed coming from the Fukishima plant. Yellow rain was observed.
Heavy metals, like cesium and iodine, are concentrated in the food chain. That food chain begins with kelp in California.
Nuclear power generation process converts Uranium into many different radioactive elements (Argonne National Laboratory).
The Fukushima Daiichi plant has about 1744 tons of spent nuclear fuel and under 100 tons of fuel in the reactors. The irradiated nuclear fuel contains the following approximate quantities of radioactive chemicals that represent a health risk when disbursed into the environment.
- Molybdenum 99
1 months danger (400 pounds)
yellow oxide slightly soluble in water
- Iodine 131
2 months danger (200 pounds) potential for a few thyroid cancer deaths
90% thyroid affinity - iodized salt provides some protection
yellow readily vaporized/dissolved
- Cesium 137
500 year danger (70,000 pounds) potential for a large number of deaths
liquid near room temperature; readily vaporized/dissolved
electrolyte activity - salt substitute provides some protection (potassium & sodium)
- Europium 155
40 year mild risk (300 pounds)
white/pink insoluble 99% affinity for soil
0.02% affinity for liver and bone
- Strontium 90
500 year danger (70,000 pounds)
10% affinity for bone - calcium supplements provide some protection
- Samarium 151
1000 year mild risk (5,000 pounds)
grayish yellow 99% affinity for soil
slight affinity for liver and bone - mineral supplements provide some protection
- Plutonium 239
200,000 year danger (300,000 pounds)
yellow 99.9% affinity for soil
potential for 700,000 fatalities
- Krypton 85
100 year mild risk (3,000 pounds)
colorless gas - no affinity for the body outside
Nuclear materials are incredibly hazardous. Nuclear fuel is replaced in rounds of 1/3 of the total about every 1000 days.
Spent fuel rods must remain submerged in water for decades.
- Molybdenum - lasts a few months - does not vaporize or dissolve
- Iodine - lasts half a year - carried easily by water and air - vaporizes at oven temperatures
- Cesium - lasts several hundred years - dissolves in water
- Plutonium - lasts millions of years - particles carried by water