AP: Local Alaska officials concerned Fukushima radiation sickened seals — “There may be some surprises” says prof… But “gut feeling” not connected

Published: January 4th, 2012 at 7:51 am ET
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Tissue from sick seals to be tested for radiation; scientist says link to Japan plant unlikely, AP, Jan. 3, 2012:

  • Tissue samples from Alaska’s sickened ringed seals will be analyzed for evidence of radiation [...]
  • In July, sick and dead ringed seals started showing up on the Beaufort Sea coast
  • Lesions on hind flippers and inside their mouths
  • Stricken live seals were lethargic, allowing people to approach
  • Necropsies found fluid in lungs, white spots on livers and abnormal growth in brains
  • More than 60 dead seals and 75 diseased seals in Alaska waters
  • Outbreaks have been reported in Russia and Canada
  • The cause remains a mystery

Chemical oceanography professor emeritus John Kelly

  • “My gut feeling is that there’s nothing there, that the answer lies in something else that’s in the sea”
  • Kelly said Tuesday by phone that he received calls from local officials in Barrow and Nome wondering if there was a connection to Fukushima
  • “The problem is, you never can tell”
  • “There may be some surprises”
  • The university, he said, has monitored radiation in air association with the Environmental Protection Agency and has seen nothing connected to the disaster

Kelly may want to reconsider that…. According to EPA data, Alaska had the highest radiation levels in the United States. See: Alaska registers highest radiation in US after Fukushima

Published: January 4th, 2012 at 7:51 am ET
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81 comments

Related Posts

  1. Reuters: Radiation tests underway on dead and diseased seals in Alaska — Suffering bleeding lesions, hair loss (PHOTO) December 28, 2011
  2. Researchers: Skin ulcers on Alaska wildlife after Fukushima were never observed before — Also reported in seals from Japan — We couldn’t document fallout pattern when plumes hit and animals were on the ice (AUDIO) November 16, 2013
  3. CBC Headline: Radiation from Fukushima arrives on Alaska coast — University scientists concerned — “Is the food supply safe?… I don’t think anyone can really answer that” November 3, 2013
  4. Expansive ‘death zone’ of birds on Alaska island, perhaps thousands washed ashore — Resident: Radiation’s always on the backs of our minds — Samples sent to lab for testing — Reporter: ‘Facebook alarmists’ fear Fukushima to blame November 27, 2013
  5. NRC email on potential contamination of Alaska waters from Fukushima radiation January 11, 2012

81 comments to AP: Local Alaska officials concerned Fukushima radiation sickened seals — “There may be some surprises” says prof… But “gut feeling” not connected

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    “The problem is, you never can tell”
    BULLSHIT. What, now Scientists and Professors are in on the coverup??!?! BS!


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  • Whoopie Whoopie

    New Tweet I’ve never seen:
    Japan’s Tipping Point by Mark Pendergras­t
    Japan is the “canary in the coal mine” for the rest of the world.
    VIDEO
    http://www­.youtube.c­om/watch?v­=4O0hSsnKq­BE


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  • jec jec

    Seal sickness in Alaska. If the tests shows Fukushima radiation caused the illness, I think his job is going to be pushing a superscooper behind horses in a parade. His “gut” feeling comment is not appropriate for a scientist or university professor. NOW if his program or school has accepted funding from the Nuclear industry –anything at all –when its almost criminal comment. Only concern, is the school or this professor doing the tests?? Puts the results into question. The school administration should have a discussion with the person in question.


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  • or-well

    The AP article says the gamma ray spectroscopy lab was built through a Department of Energy project.

    Unclear wording, but anyway –

    From where does funding come to operate and maintain this lab?

    University revenue?
    State or Federal Grants?
    Dept. of Energy grants?
    Are these valid questions?


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    • Whoopie Whoopie

      Yes they are or-well. Very relevant questions.


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      • aigeezer aigeezer

        I agree, Whoopie and or-well. They are excellent questions.

        In the spirit of my post at 09:00 they also illustrate a useful and appropriate chain of reasoning.

        The thinking would be something like “if the lab was shilling for the nuke industry, then there would be a funding trail to the source”.

        Here’s where it gets tricky though.

        1. Suppose you investigated and found that the lab had received funds galore from the industry – the counter-intuitive surprise is that this WOULD NOT PROVE that the lab was shilling. It would be suggestive, it would be consistent with, and so on, but it would NOT be proof. You would have to dig deeper for proof.

        2. If you investigated and found conclusively that there was no funding trail to the source, then you could validly (deductively) conclude that the lab was not shilling, but… the peril here is that it is virtually impossible to find conclusively that there was no funding trail – perhaps it is just really well hidden. Another peril is that your major premise (the “if” part of your reasoning) was false. This happens all the time – we mistakenly think “if blah blah then blee blee follows from it” when it is not true.

        Anyway, scientists know this kind of stuff thoroughly. If they do experimental work, they construct experiments extremely carefully in order to avoid various traps of reasoning. Most experiments are intended to help with inductive reasoning, which has its own set of pitfalls.

        Bottom line: Those questions are potentially very useful. Ask them carefully and interpret the answers carefully. By all means let your hunches and emotions guide which questions to ask, but be very wary not to let emotion drive your interpretation of the answers.

        Facts trump spin, even for the good guys.

        Thanks for reading, and a reminder for any wannabe logicians:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abductive_reasoning


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        • or-well

          It’s all speculation ’til the results come out.Even then, there may be grounds for suspicion, suspicions that may not be verifiable.Personally, it’s my suspicion that there is enough crap in the waters the ring seals most often frequent that that is the cause, Fukushima aside.But we do need to consider that this lab, who’s OPERATIONAL funding we don’t know, is where it is – see Bobby1 and Jeebus posts about fish landings and radiation in Alaska – a State


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          • or-well

            that was weird…
            a State who’s Officials would likely prefer NOT to have any aspect of their economy associated with negative consequences from Fukushima, a State with a small population, with communities where people know one another, where livelihoods are interconnected.

            I’m saying it would not be surprising if there were influences quite apart from pro-nuclear at work there to secure the best possible results from the testing in terms of the Alaskan economy.


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            • hbjon hbjon

              There is no need for a million dollar lab to conduct the tests. If you incinerate the remains and collect the ash, the disintegrating isotopes will be trapped within the carbon, calcium and other minerals. Then all you need to do is test the ash in a dark room for radiation.


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            • aigeezer aigeezer

              “I’m saying it would not be surprising if there were influences quite apart from pro-nuclear at work there to secure the best possible results from the testing in terms of the Alaskan economy.”

              Good thinking or-well. I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet, but that’s certainly another speculation worth pursuing (in parallel with the nuke theme, of course).


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              • or-well

                Follow the money
                who wins
                who loses
                sometimes it’s just people
                holding their noses
                while doing wrong
                using the justification song
                of a local need
                trumping all others.


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                • aigeezer aigeezer

                  “the justification song of a local need trumping all others”

                  That resonates with me or-well, as many of your insights do. I think monstrous outcomes can and do arise from the cumulative effects of “little” falsehoods, cheats, errors and so on.

                  “I’ve got to sell this (radioactive) fertilizer – the government won’t compensate me.”

                  “We can’t afford to compensate everyone.”

                  “I’ve got to plant my rice to make a living”.

                  “If I don’t change the label, nobody will buy this stuff.”

                  “If we tell the public what we know, there might be panic.”

                  “I am not authorized to release this information.”

                  “The model did not predict this.”

                  … and on and on. No evil conspiracy needed – just people doing what people do – with disastrous unintended side-effects.

                  We (collectively) waste our time looking for evil masterminds, for evil perps to punish, for direct black and white connections between causes and outcomes. Our time is better spent in coping with the hand we’re dealt than in complaining about it.

                  Ain’t it awful!

                  Let’s shut all the nukes down, one lightbulb at a time if we can’t think of a better way.
                  We can do it and I predict we will (writing this by the light of the monitor). ;-)


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                  • or-well

                    Right.
                    Now combine this with conscious and deliberate self-aggrandising malfeasance and co-operative systemic duplicity.

                    I happen to think there IS a degree of “black and white” criminality occurring (generally) but it’s not always the cause in every case.

                    I don’t think the search for conspiracy (people of like minds and like interest planning preferred outcomes – a very time-honored activity!) need be a waste of time, but rather, can be a self-challenge to habitual and/or conditioned modes of thought.


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                    • or-well

                      and oh yeah
                      SHUT THEM DOWN!


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                    • aigeezer aigeezer

                      Fair enough, or-well. Yes, odds are there really are some villains in the mix, but villainy is in the eye of the prosecutor. The perp always has his reasons.

                      My personal choice is to do something (tiny, I admit) to try to achieve the main goal which as you note is:

                      SHUT THEM DOWN!

                      I’ve decided over the years that plotting punishments and revenge tends to waste my time, but for those with a taste for it – it still might be a good idea to shut the industry down first, just so it doesn’t, you know, destroy the planet while the State machinery is still choosing the drapes for the courtroom:

                      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Revenge%20is%20a%20Dish%20Best%20Served%20Cold

                      I’ve always liked the “living well is the best revenge” idea, but I don’t think we can really live well until the nukes are gone. If you’re a logic buff, my point is that getting rid of the nukes is a necessary but not sufficient condition for living well. Or-well said it best:

                      “SHUT THEM DOWN!”


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  • Bobby1

    The newspaper story linked to in “Alaska registers highest radiation in US after Fukushima” has been scrubbed from the website.

    But they have a story,

    KODIAK — Unalaska-Dutch Harbor tops the port rankings for most tonnage of seafood landings. KMXT radio reported Dutch Harbor had 515.2 million pounds of fish in 2010 to lead last year’s port rankings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/09/07/1813866/dutch-harbor-tops-nation-in-seafood.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

    That is, the port with the largest amount of fish catch, also had the highest radiation measured in the US. Think about that next time you buy fish at the grocery store.


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “My gut feeling is that there’s nothing there, that the answer lies in something else that’s in the sea”

    Scientists have gut feelings. Nothing wrong with that. They are human after all. Nothing wrong with their saying so either. If they touted their gut feelings as scientific facts, that would be very wrong – but that is not what he did.

    I share his view. There is no evidence in the public domain (yet) that the deaths are related to Fukushima. It is pointless for us to speculate about coverups at this stage, although it is very appropriate to be wary.

    The truth will out in time, whatever it is.

    Whoopie, the reasoning process you used has a name (abduction). It is widely used and can be very helpful at times, but it does not lead to a valid conclusion. It can make a really helpful starting point from which to launch a process (deduction) that is capable of reaching a valid conclusion, but by itself it can be very misleading. Politicians, advertisers, nuclear shills and other bad guys abuse it regularly. So do most people, without even realizing it.

    One irony is that the ancient Greeks had this stuff down cold thousands of years ago, but it is nowhere to be found in modern K-12 curricula. It is in many university programs. All law students must know it (it’s part of the LSAT) in the US, but that doesn’t mean they use it in practice – once you know how to use it, you know how to abuse it too.

    Anyway… I know you weren’t expecting this kind of reply. Sorry! I’m trying to be helpful. We’re all trigger happy over Fukushima, so my urgent plea to all of us is… let’s think clearly (it’s a surprisingly simple process) and learn (precisely) how to detect spin and not spin each other.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abductive_reasoning


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    • Bobby1

      “I share his view. There is no evidence in the public domain (yet) that the deaths are related to Fukushima. It is pointless for us to speculate about coverups at this stage, although it is very appropriate to be wary.”

      There is no evidence that is unrelated to Fukushima. Common sense tells us that if there are measurements of high radiation, that the radiation will have effects on organisms. Duh.


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      • aigeezer aigeezer

        “Common sense” is not reasoning.

        “Common sense” is a synonym for “opinion”, as evidenced by the fact that people express widely varying views on an issue, each claiming that their viewpoint is “common sense”.

        Look out your window. “Common sense” will tell you that the world is flat.

        Reasoning is a process. It is a useful process. If a person doesn’t know how to reason, then those who do have two huge advantages over him/her: first they can arrive at truths embedded in a forest of misinformation, secondly they can spin at will, hoping to blind the person who relies on “common sense” to get by.

        If the only tool one has is a hammer, then one tends to see each problem as a nail.


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      • aigeezer aigeezer

        “if there are measurements of high radiation, that the radiation will have effects on organisms”

        Yes, of course that is true (assuming that the organisms were exposed to the high radiation that was measured).

        Your reasoning is still abductive (and therefore does not lead to a valid conclusion). Please let me explain by attempting to paraphrase it.

        As I understand it, your thinking (and that of many posters here, starting with Taco) is something like:

        Major premise: If Fukushima gave off massive amounts of radiation, then it would kill massive amounts of marine creatures. (I have no quibble with this kind of assertion).

        Minor premise: Dozens of seals have been found dead in the Arctic. (I have no quibble with this either).

        Extra information (not strictly part of a simple reasoning example, but suggestive, useful, and could be woven in appropriately): dead seals had lesions of unknown origin, usual microbial tests showed nothing, some seals had blood at the nose…. (I don’t reject any of that information – it would have to be woven in to the reasoning example for completeness).

        Conclusion: The seals died of radiation poisoning from Fukushima. (This is where we differ. It is not a logically valid conclusion. Note that it may be true or it may not be true. We don’t know.)

        This reasoning process is abductive. It does not lead to valid conclusions. It is dangerous to act on any abductive conclusion, especially if you erroneously believe you have reached a deductive conclusion.

        You (all) may be absolutely right that the seals died from radiation effects. You may be wrong. The phenomenon is suggestive, it is concerning, it is alarming. It is not proof.

        Work it out for yourself:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abductive_reasoning


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        • Obviously, testing should establish whether or not radiation (whatever source) contributed to the illnesses and deaths of these seals. But there are peripheral considerations that must be factored into the chain of reasoning or at least diagrammed to the side in order to reach even a tentative conclusion. Nothing abductive, and no “gut feelings” proffered by wannabe ‘experts’ trying to divert attention from the latest form of ocean pollution we know about… Fukushima.

          1. It has been factually established that radiation levels from Fukushima have been consistently covered up by ‘officials’ in Japan and in the U.S. Hence even announced results of testing on these seals cannot automatically be considered trustworthy.

          2. The information linked above that the major fishing industry port in Alaska registered the highest radiation levels post-Fukushima of anywhere in the U.S. (and confirming NRC internal communications about Alaska being the place to expect highest levels.

          This reasonably indicates that fish caught in the waters off Alaska absorbed uite a lot of radiation via the ocean food chain in the currents we know (and have mapped) moving from northern Japan to Alaskan waters. Seals are at the top of the food chain (along with sharks, tuna, other carnivorous game fish, Pacific salmon, dolphins and whales), consuming fish in the waters off Alaska. Including contaminated fish.

          3. No fish or mammal suffering health effects from accumulated internal contamination need have absorbed a lethal dose in order to die prematurely of any other systemic condition made worse by radiation-caused compromise of immune and injury repair systems.

          Thus establishing that radiation need not be the primary cause of death in any of these seals in order for radiation to be a significant contributor to death. An “abundance of caution” approach logically suspects that very thing, and remains suspicious if findings are dismissed a priori by any ‘official’.


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          • aigeezer aigeezer

            Yes, JoyB, I agree completely with an “abundance of caution” approach; that “the authorities” should vigorously investigate the causes of the seal deaths; they seem to be starting late, and that there have been lies and cover ups. I feel we should be extremely skeptical and wary about how they have handled it and what they might do in future. All that kind of stuff… It’s real, it’s serious, the behavior has been alarming – we’re on the same page.

            My beef today has been procedural – the widespread tendency of people to offer abductive thinking inappropriately as “proof”, which leads to ever wilder imaginative claims.

            In general, I’m hoping we might all keep in mind some rules of discourse, such as (in no particular order):

            1. Name calling doesn’t strengthen an argument.

            2. Silencing a person is not the same as convincing a person.

            3. SHOUTING doesn’t strengthen an argument.

            4. Everybody makes mistakes from time to time.

            5. Nobody lies all the time (not even the nuke shills).

            6. Everyone has opinions. Sharing them is useful. Stating them as facts is dangerous (in my opinion).

            7. A collection of opinions (such as this one) is not a process of deduction. It proves nothing.

            8. My theme of the day – conclusions reached abductively may be true or false. Some other day I might drone on about the perils of inductive reasoning, temporal reasoning, multi-valued reasoning, the (very useful) stochastic reasoning in your post, or whatever, but today I’m Johnny One Note.

            I’ve got no quibble with how you (JoyB) express your thoughts. Your reasoning is careful, clear, interesting, easy to follow and so forth. That’s true for many of us most of the time, as Lincoln almost said.

            Facts trump spin, in my opinion. Dubya famously said that is not true – that people like him created reality: “mission accomplished”, “fundamentals of the economy are essentially sound”, “deficits don’t matter”, etc. That approach works until it…


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        • Bobby1

          Who said it was proof?

          I place my hand on a burner of a hot stove. I reflexively pull my hand back. I see that my hand is red with blisters.

          Is that proof that the burner burned my hand? No. I need to bring a scientist in to do measurements, analyze them in a lab, write a paper for publication, submit it for peer review, revise it, and after a year the peer review process will be done and it is published.

          In the meantime my hand would have been amputated.

          I don’t need no proof, I need a functioning brain and sensory system.


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    • Whoopie Whoopie

      SPOT ON aigeezer! You are right of course. We all have gut feelings, he is no different. Guess we’ll find out in the end, one way or another.


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      • many moons

        I think that the idea that time will tell is part of the lie. I think these sea creatures have been examined, some of the findings are published, (about lesions, brain growths etc.) but the cliff hanger question of what caused this is never clear. (yellow dust cliff hanger also never clear) These animals were examined 6 months ago and the possibility of radiation causing their deaths has never been tested? I don’t believe that. So now they say they will test and give us some conclusive data. Bullshit. In another 6 months they will come out with more smoke and mirrors saying “wait a bit we will be right back with that info after a word from our sponcers….”Time won’t tell unless we the concerned people pool OUR money and do the testing.


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    • hbjon hbjon

      I detect spin in the above comment. This is how I get there. A. It is not possible to overstate the magnitude of the disaster in Japan. B. The commentator ssys,” There is no evidence in the public domain (yet) that the deaths are related to Fukushima.” C. Anyone following the disaster would know the majority of fallout went up towards Alaska. D. Milions of tons of debris migrating with the toxic currents off the shores of North America. Let’s not see this website turn into another Physics Forums, and have all the shills in the industry make the comments. I can detect a hint of it already happening.


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Very good comment imo, aigeezer.


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  • StillJill StillJill

    Speaking the obvious has never been more UNPOPULAR.
    Whoopie,….word crafters, or scripture lawyers, will hound us ’til the day we finally die. (Let’s hope it’s one day after them, K?)
    Keep calling a spade a spade, as you see it. Never be afraid to speak. That is what saying, “I’m sorry I was wrong”, is for. True humans CAN say those words!


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  • Whoopie Whoopie

    True. Was sick yesterday still kinda sick.
    BUT my gut tells me it’s Fukushima and i guess we’ll find out soon enough, when people start coming out of the water covered with the same burns and radiation sickness… :(


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    • Bobby1

      I’m back on the Lugol’s iodine again. Thyroid issues, also eye problems.


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      • StillJill StillJill

        I’m sorry to hear that Bobby1. I went off of it for the past week, to give myself a break. As you said a week ago or so,…everything that can FLARE,…is! :-(

        When my flares are all ‘calmed down’,…PLEASE GOD,….I’ll go back on the lugols. I am doing inferred sauna INTENSIVE DETOX also. Have triggered a healing crisis along with FUKU isotopes.

        The seals didn’t have a fighting chance. We do!!!! :-)
        Be of good cheer, and smile those isotopes away! (sarc)


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        • Bobby1

          The detox can cause a temporary toxic crisis too, when all that radioactive crud moves out of the body… but short-term pain is better than long-term suffering. I hope you get better, StillJill.


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  • StillJill StillJill

    Indeed,…only they won’t have to ‘come out of the water’, to GET BURNED, right?

    The food chain is so misunderstood, nor even much considered.
    I reasoned with my roommate that hot particles are like invisible rattle snakes. If Arnie’s estimation was correct,…5-10 hot particles a day in April, etc,…there are possibly 100 out in your 2.5 acres,….I told him. Yet,…he traipses out in his property with no precautions,…(breathing in possible ‘hot toddies’, or stepping on rattle snakes, etc,…),….still NO APPROPRIATE RESPONSES.

    I am thinking it is time to start wearing the masks out in public. I have the same ‘fear’ of ‘what people will say or think as anyone does, unfortunately. Oh well,…guess I’ll have to step-up and walk my talk.


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  • hbjon hbjon

    10,000 humans were found dead in coastal regions of the USA from unknown causes. Researchers noted hair loss, bruises, bleeding, oozing sores, and swollen glands. Most of the victims had been sleeping on the ground and were unemployed and homeless. I fear this is a headline that won’t be published. Radioactive gases will move slowly along the ground as they are much heavier than normal atmosphere. Geiger counters show activity when you put them where the radionuclides are.(on the ground)Hey human, you are not immune to the toxic clouds of zenon and krypton.


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  • StillJill StillJill

    hbjon,…there is no way that could NOT happen. Said another way, there is no way of avoiding THAT VERY HEADLINE! Anyone who says that THE FACTS don’t point that VERY way,….are enemies of the truth.


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  • James2

    I can tell you right now there is no possibility that those seals will be shown to have died of radiation sickness.

    Perhaps they will actually conduct tests, but most likely they won’t even do that.

    Any real scientist would say something like. “we need to check that possibility”. Not. “I don’t think there’s anythiing there”.


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    • jec jec

      Correct. “I don’t think” is not what is expected from a University scientist. But he is also very highly qualified and respected, so the “gut feeling”, and “don’t think” probably was given in a non-offical forum. Am sure offical reports would not use those wordings; reports which should be avaiable very soon. (Several weeks started weeks ago..).


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      • aigeezer aigeezer

        Exactly. He is a professor emeritus (that means retired, folks), probably speaking casually. The media report that kind of casual conversation all the time, knowing that people will gallop off in all directions with it.


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    • StillJill StillJill

      Agreed. Or, this guy would be pushing a broom at a carnival somewhere, soon.


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    • hbjon hbjon

      I don’t need a chicken processing company to conduct a test of their chicken to see if I am sick from salmonella. Who is “they” James? Since your much smarter than everyone else that looks at the junk pile they call Fukushima Daiichi, please tell us sheeple how it is poosible for the uncontained nuclear fuel in Japan to still be contained to Japan, regardless of the fact, that fallout is distributed in the air currents (above ground nuclear accident) or water currents (below water nuclear accident)?? Maybe you simply forgot about the quantity of the most toxic substance known to Man, that has been released?


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    • …because we learned year before last that Corexit doesn’t cause any problems in sea life, right? Why in the world would anybody think radiation is harmful! Plankton, seaweed, krill, crustaceans, fish, bigger fish and ocean mammals are all naturally immune from radiation, magically turn radioactive isotopes into normal stable isotopes if they come within a mile of any ocean life form. Because… um, because that’s how ocean magic works. Yeah, that’s the ticket!


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  • hbjon hbjon

    Of all the threads regarding Fukushima, the ones that refer to dead mammals by North America, will be charged with the most emotion. We are mammals. What separates us from them is a thinking mind. We have the commonsense to not balance floating radioactive debris on our noses. I may look like a cuddly little furry friend, but I assure you, I don’t suffer the fools gladly. All of my posts here on enenews show that I have one goal. The awareness of the dangers we face from Fukushima based on common observations, modified with new information.


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  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    Reason, fact, gut …until it is sorted out I am keeping my gut out of it and not putting any fish from the pacific in it. Vote on this issue through your purchases.

    Unfortunately with all the radiation coming out of Japan more animals will be impacted and there will be plenty of dead and dying for other scientists to test. Future samples should be collected and sent to Busby and Gundersen.


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  • hbjon hbjon

    The “crux” of the whole matter regarding the possibility of life being affected by Fukushima is this. The analytical mind of humans is designed to reach a solution to a problem. Even if one does not “in fact” exist. Apathy is the state that exists in humans when all courses of action are exhausted. All thought and action resist the state of apathy. Ask two questions. What if these mammals have died from radiation exposure? What can be done? Answer: nothing. Doing nothing equals apathy. But I submit to you. There is always a recourse. There is an action the satisfies the best possible survival outcome. There is a perfect computation on the optimum solution. But until careful reasoning and experimentation are used to gather information, more people will be at risk then otherwise would have had to be.


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    • many moons

      “Ya can’t change what ya don’t admit” Dr. Phil
      I think there are plenty of options and they can take a positive spin. For instance if all sea creatures die then power companies won’t be hindered by the restrictions place on them by regulatory agencies trying to protect sea creaturres. Exploration of oil will be wide open, oil can be obtained easier so perhaps this will put an end to fracking…good deal. Excellent. And this solution happily incorporate apathy. We don’t have to do anything, just turn your head away as the sea dies and it’s over. Done. Make way for the oil industry and perhps we can dump high level nuclear waste in the ocean too…oh wait, that’s already being done…just keep using the ocean like a private toxic toilet and our conserns can be flushed away!


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  • or-well

    Here’s my prediction:

    You may hold me to it or hold it against me.

    The “announced” cause will be bacterial in nature (and somewhat vague)
    AND
    it will be (vaguely) connected to water temperatures(el Nino/la Nina?)facilitating an “unexpected” disease vector
    AND
    re-assurrances will be issued to the affect that re-occurrences will be “reasonably” expected to decline.

    Why? This is “safest” – NOT for people or marine life but for the University, nuclear stakeholders and the Alaskan economy.

    My $.02 worth.


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    Good thread everyone! We have to be careful in our reasoning but also vigilant. And, any form of reasoning has it’s flaws. We just need to think with that in mind. The biggest flaw I see is not the form of reasoning, but, rather, not noticing where one first starts. Again, the cultural unwritten premise that underlies all exploitation and technology today is that there is NO INTERCONNECTEDNESS. This is blatantly false, but, the norm. For example, if I find no radiation in the seals, I then deduct radiation did not make them sick. False. I cannot deduct that until I also rule out that radiation did not change some other environmental factor, such as creating a favorable climate for a certain fungus that was already getting a leg up and nearing a point of becoming out of balance due to some chemical brew in the ocean and a lack of a certain species of fish that would normally keep this fungus in check. That is true science, true reasoning. Leaving out all the variables, choosing what one thinks is relevant before even conducting a test is why science tends to go very wrong so much of the time and creates so many unintended negative results. Think interconnected. That is the starting point. Most people here do that and then talk in shorthand to make what they see as an obvious and urgent point.

    BTW, testing the air is not the same as testing the water. This is the first indication that this particular professor has little grasp of the oceanic/atmospheric systems. Regardless of his reasoning, it is already suspect in his public display of ignorance on such an important aspect of how radiation travels throughout the environment. His “hunch” cannot be given credence because he is limited by his own knowledge.


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  • or-well

    @aigeezer, “Reply” missing – so here…
    (how awkward)
    re: villainy in eye of prosecutor…well, this format has limitations…I don’t think this a case of the winners write the history and I’m uneasy with moral absolutes, but nuclear is villainy both melodramatically and practically. Perps have their reasons – understanding them in terms of individual motivation and systemic applicability is one thing, but that needn’t precede making every attempt to prevent or bring to a halt their actions.
    Punishment and revenge are not the challenge – we humans have considerable expertise there – it’s shutting them down through legal and administrative channels that enable them in the first place and permit and facilitate their continuance in the second place that’s the challenge.
    As for living well, well, simply having diapers for the baby or enough food each night for supper is living well for far too many here in the richest countries on the planet. For hundreds of millions it’s simply surviving. As you know. And I do not think there are no correspondences between these issues. There are.
    We may succeed in shutting them down. Even if we do, we may find “living well” in the accustomed 1st world materialistic sense
    impossible, what with other “stuff” developing, but we can redine “well” in a variety of historical or yet to be discoverd ways. As long as we still are living.
    Logic’s good, I’m more intuitive by nature I think, I do appreciate your “one note” logic push today tho and I stole Shut them down from somebody here, well, borrowed…


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  • arclight arclight

    “Ringed seals feed from late summer to early spring on saffron cod, Eleginus gracilis , shrimp, amphipods , and euphausiids. In the fall, ringed seals feed on saffron cod, and and winter to early spring mainly on Arctic cod . Ladoga ringed seals feed mainly on prey such as smelt , vendace , ruffe , and burbot . Baltic ringed seals feed mainly on fish such as herring , smelt, whitefish , sculpin and perch . Crustaceans also form part of their diet and they feed heavily on these species, particularly isopods , during the winter. Saimaa ringed seals must feed in near darkness as the visibility in Lake Saimaa is very poor due to high concentrations of decomposing organic matter (humus). Saimaa ringed seals feed on small schooling fish such as vendace, roach , smelt, and perch. The longest dive recorded for the Saimaa ringed seal is 23 minutes.”
    “Most ringed seals, with the exception of the Okhotsk, breed and give birth in lairs formed in caves dug into the snow on top of the ice.”
    “Additionally, environmental contamination even in the northern range have been reported. In Russia in 1998, radioactive waste was reported to be leaking into the Arctic seas resulting in radiation 100 times normal levels in some places. The radioactive waste comes from Arctic dumps used by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. In the Baltic Sea, toxic chemicals and metals have caused disease and reduced reproductive capacity in ringed seals. Although measures have been taken to reduce pollution levels, ringed seal populations are still threatened by environmental contamination……
    cont….


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  • arclight arclight

    “….Baltic ringed seal populations have decreased due to hunting and pollution. Hunting Baltic ringed seals was banned in 1988 by the Helsinki Commission , however Finland and Sweden are pushing for a reversal of the ban. Scientific research published in 1997 showed that this species could not sustain hunting at any level.

    Baltic ringed seal populations are just beginning to increase, however, there is concern for the viability of the Gulf of Finland population. In 1998, it was reported that chemical weapons dumps in the Baltic Sea were causing widespread heavy metal and arsenic contamination.”

    http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=185


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “not noticing where one first starts” is indeed an essential point, VFO. If we were all real logicians doing real logic at a professional level then we would all start with an agreed-upon set of axioms. However, the Net is the wild-west from a logician’s point of view.

    For example (not using nuke-world in order to avoid starting a food fight):

    A: “Martians need three times as much toothpaste as humans do.”
    B: “Huh? Why do you say that?”

    A: “Well, each Martian has three toothbrushes, so it’s obvious that they’ll need some for each brush, and an earthling only needs enough for one brush.”

    B: “Yeah, that makes sense, I guess.” … long pause… “Wait a minute, why do Martians each need three toothbrushes?”

    A: “Well, DOH, it’s obvious, dummy. Everyone knows a Martian has three heads.”

    In this corny example, A and B were starting with two different axiom sets. A’s logic was fairly sound, but his original belief set was suspect.

    That happens in real life over and over and over. It’s not too hard to avoid if we work at it. At risk of belaboring a point… you tell us:

    1. “testing the air is not the same as testing the water”. I doubt that anyone would disagree with that.

    Your next sentence is:

    2. “This is the first indication that this particular professor has little grasp of the oceanic/atmospheric systems.”

    … but those two sentences have no connection whatsoever. I believe you intended to convey disapproval that the professor had not spoken about oceanic systems. However, we don’t know whether he did or did not. The article gives no clue as to whether those questions were asked or answered.

    All day today, people have been pounding on this retired professor because of garbled interpretations of selected fragments of a reporter’s memory of a telephone conversation. For all I know the professor is an industry shill, but this isn’t the way to find out.

    Lest I forget… SHUT DOWN THE NUKES – THAT’S WHAT…


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  • arclight arclight

    only testing for cesium? what about the strontium 90 the chinese reported as well as other isotopes?

    only one lab covering all that work? what about the nearly dozen nuclear universities in canada?

    they not interested?? suppose it is america technically but not radiologicaly… no passport needed for that sort of thing??

    Radiation investigated as possible cause of Alaska ringed-seal deaths
    Alex DeMarban | Dec 23, 2011

    “Is it possible that the ringed seals traveled to a contaminated area? They do, after all, have quite a range. Experts could not be reached the Friday before Christmas to explain migratory routes for Alaska’s estimated stock of 250,000 ringed seals.

    Or did they eat prey contaminated by radiation? If there is a link to Fukoshima, the lab will find it, said Kelley.

    They’ll be testing for radionuclide Cs-134 and Cs-137.

    “This will give us or not give us a fingerprint that is out there,” he said. “If Fukoshima is there, this should give us some indication.”

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/radiation-investigated-possible-cause-alaska-ringed-seal-deaths


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    • arclight arclight

      “Tissue samples from Alaska’s sickened ringed seals will be analyzed for evidence of radiation but the scientist preparing to do so”

      and this from the article link above

      “John Kelley, with the Institute of Marine Sciences at UAF, said he’s just received a large batch of tissue from afflicted ringed seals and will soon begin the university’s hunt for radiation as a possible cause.

      12 days to do a check for cesium!!???? and they are still “will be analysed”??

      busby got three universities to do the testing on his sample plus the travelling time?? admittedly 1 university destroyed the evidence but the other two were good to there word.. proper bit of efficiency that!! tested for more than cesium too!
      just saying

      press article taking bullICraP?

      THEY KNOW!!


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    • Bobby1

      If they are testing for radionuclides that are in the seals’ bodies now, they will miss the short-life nuclides they were exposed to at the beginning of the crisis. It is probably the iodine, xenon, and 100 other short-lived isotopes that decayed within days that did the most damage.

      Testing for isotopes rather than observing damage indicates a possible whitewash in progress.


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  • arclight arclight

    Published: January 3rd, 2012 09:24 PM
    Last Modified: January 3rd, 2012 09:24 PM

    Tissue samples from Alaska’s sickened ringed seals will be analyzed for evidence of radiation but the scientist preparing to do so says he doubts there’s a connection to the Japanese nuclear plant damaged by a tsunami last year.

    “My gut feeling is that there’s nothing there, that the answer lies in something else that’s in the sea,” said John Kelly, a professor emeritus of chemical oceanography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2012/01/03/2244262/sick-alaska-seals-will-be-tested.html#storylink=cpy


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  • Jebus Jebus

    Killer Whales off shore of Southern California?
    Rare sightings?
    Looking for healthy sea lions to eat?

    NBC Nightly News

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#45877725

    Orcas and Strong Winter Fishing Greet Anglers

    Great fishing for bass, sculpin, sanddabs, fat halibut and a chance to see orcas await Southern California anglers this week.

    http://marinadelrey.patch.com/articles/orcas-and-great-wintertime-fishing-greet-anglers-this-week-0d81a61a


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  • arclight arclight

    Woods hole report findings (err sort of findings)

    2nd December 2011

    “However, due to ocean mixing processes, the levels are rapidly diluted off the northwest coast of Japan.

    The study used data on the concentrations of cesium-137, cesium-134 and iodine-131 as a basis to compare the levels of radionuclides released into the ocean with known levels in the sea surrounding Japan prior to the accident.

    The resulting paper, Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants on Marine Radioactivity, is published in the current issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.”

    “The investigators compiled and analyzed data on concentrations of cesium and iodine in ocean water near the plants’ discharge points.

    The data were made public by TEPCO, the electric utility that owns the plants, and the Japanese Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.”

    And this

    “While concentrations of “”some radionuclides”" continued to decrease, by July they were still 10,000 times higher than levels measured in 2010 off the coast of Japan.

    This indicates that the plants “remain a significant source of contamination to the coastal waters off Japan,” the researchers report.”

    “There could be an issue, however, if the source remains high and radiation “”accumulates”" in marine sediments.

    “We don’t know how this might affect benthic marine life, and with a half-life of 30 years, any cesium-137 accumulating in sediments or groundwater could be a concern for decades to come,” he says.”

    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=122542&org=ERE&from=home

    and this link to abstract of document

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22013920

    heres the journal link

    http://www.ceers.org/ijest/search/search.asp

    looks like they will keep us waiting for the whitewash… 200 scientists from japan and the usa, probaly had someone from the iaea…


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  • InfoPest InfoPest

    I WROTE TO DR. KELLEY WHO IS THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF TESTING THE RINGED SEAL SAMPLES. HERE ARE THE EMAILS.

    Dear Dr. Kelley;

    It’s been a month since you were quoted as saying it would be “several weeks” for the results of the Ringed Seal Tissue Samples to be tested for radiation exposure. The possibility of the pacific food chain being significantly contaminated with radioactive elements is information the human race has a right to know. I understand you may be under some pressure to withhold your results but the truth can not be squashed forever. People of science need to speak up and let the facts be known.

    Sincerely, (InfoPest)

    We are the only laboratory to my knowledge located in Alaska with the capability to analyze materials for radioactivity quantitatively by gamma ray spectroscopy. We are a new lab and are still waiting for the delivery of analytical standards. I cannot give a firm date at this time for the reporting of results. I can assure you that we are under no [pressure to withhold results or any other information. We appreciate your concern.

    John Kelley

    On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 8:17 AM,


    John J. Kelley, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus, Marine Science
    School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220
    Tel: 907 474 5585
    fax: 907 474 7204
    email: jjkelley@alaska.edu


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    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      @InfoPest… thank you! I was just wondering what ever happened to the samples of the sick seals, as well as the seals themselves.. Where they all euthanized? Did they die? ..are there any that are still alive? What?

      “…still waiting for the delivery of analytical standards” does this mean they need verifiable radioactive materials to test to be sure of their readings? or?


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  • StillJill StillJill

    O.K., I’m a dummy here,…what is “delivery of analytical standards”, pray tell????? Let me guess,..”we are waiting for the higher up’s to tell us what we CAN report,…that we found, but can’t tell you we found.” Got that?


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    • InfoPest InfoPest

      The Lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks got all their money from the Dept. of Energy. Do you think the DOE is going to let proof that the Pacific Ocean has been poisoned for the next 30,000 years be published by this little school.


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