Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (at 1:30:00 in): Talking about some of the failures […] what I’ve discovered on the academic side, is that when we went to offer our service, we wanted to go and help out, we didn’t have an agency in this country that really had an interest. NOAA was given the authority to look at this disaster and see what the US response should be. Their reaction was to continue this modeling effort to try and model where these things might be at. Not to do the on-the-ground field efforts. They said we don’t do that, we don’t measure radionuclides. Then they’d point across the aisle to the Department of Energy […] the ocean, that’s not their thing, it’s salty — that’s not their problem. Here we have in our country many reactors on oceans and don’t have even an authority or body that has a mission that includes fate of those radionuclides in the ocean. I think that’s a failure that we still haven’t solved […] It’s very obvious when you hear the stories about leaking tanks on land getting into the ocean, there’s a connection there. But we failed to fill that in, our ability to understand the consequences. […] One example of something we’re still trying to plug up as a failure.
‘Your Call’ hosted by Rose Aguilar, KALW, Jan. 16, 2014:
Ken Buesseler, senior scientist in marine chemistry & geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (At 5:30 in): Historical weirdness going on — NOAA doesn’t study radionuclides per se at all in their programs, so they were looking at some of the debris and their predictions, but not the radioactive contaminants. That typically falls to the Department of Energy, but they tend to only focus their resources and expertise on land and groundwater […] not the general spread of radionuclides in the marine environment. So, we kind of fell between the cracks […] no one was responsible.
Published: January 25th, 2014 at 2:58 pm ET
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