New study finds radiation dose for US West Coast from Fukushima over 500% of recent gov’t estimate — Release from Japan disaster could exceed Chernobyl (MAP)

Published: August 21st, 2014 at 2:22 pm ET


Atmospheric transport and deposition of radionuclides released after the Fukushima Dai-chi accident and resulting effective dose, Atmospheric Environment, Sept. 2014 (emphasis added): On 11 March 2011 an earthquake off the Pacific coast of the Fukushima prefecture generated a tsunami that hit Fukushima Dai-ichi and Fukushima Da-ini Nuclear Power Plants. From 12 March a significant amount of radioactive material was released into the atmosphere and dispersed worldwide. […] The simulation shows that the radioactive plume, consisting of about 200 PBq by adding contributions from 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs, has been transported over the entire northern hemisphere […] An early quantitative estimation of the amount of radioactive material discharged in the atmosphere has been provided by Chino et al. (2011) by coupling environmental monitoring data with atmospheric dispersion simulations, then updated by Katata et al. (2012) with a more detailed description of the emission from the morning of 12 March to late night of 14 March. The total amount of radioactivity has been estimated in 12.6 PBq of 134Cs and 137Cs, and 128.2 PBq of 1311. […] The uncertainty associated with this source term has been estimated by Chino et al. (2011) to be a factor of 5 or greater.

  • As the study notes “uncertainty associated with this source term has been estimated… to be a factor of 5 or greater.” Using only a factor of 5, the result is 63 PBq of 137Cs (5 x 12.6) and 63 PBq of 134Cs (5 x 12.6) released at Fukushima126 PBq total.
  • According to an estimate by the National Academy published in 1995, “35 PBq of Cs-134 and 70 PBq of Cs-137 were released” at Chernobyl — 105 PBq total.

More from Atmospheric transport and deposition of radionuclides released after the Fukushima Dai-chi accident and resulting effective dose, Sept. 2014: Results at the global scale for the total cumulative effective dose and the three different pathways considered are illustrated in Fig. 7 [an excerpt of this is shown here on the right] […] Cumulative dose in North America reached the maximum value of 27 uSv [microsieverts] on the United States west coast with an average value of about 2 uSv over United States, Canada, and Mexico. The average effective dose in Europe results in 0.17 uSv with the highest value of about 1.5 uSv occurring in the Norwegian west coast Countries experiencing effective doses above the average value arc Spain, France, Finland, and the western Russian regions.

  • Dr. Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, June 2014: Recently specific numbers from the California Coastal Commission were released in April. What they were doing was taking the peak value in the air in San Francisco and in the water and calculating doses, if someone were to be exposed for an entire year… they came up with a dose of 5 uSv… Not to trivialize and say it’s low… but it’s much higher [in Japan].

Watch Buesseler’s presentation here

Published: August 21st, 2014 at 2:22 pm ET


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  2. Controversy after US gov’t estimate showed 40,000 microsievert thyroid dose for California infants from Fukushima — Data not released to public — “Very high doses to children” March 6, 2012
  3. Map shows Fukushima fallout in U.S. — Radiation dose in Northeast and Great Lakes equal to West Coast (GRAPHIC) January 29, 2014
  4. CBC: Radioactive particles arrive ‘far earlier than predicted’ for N. America — Mag: ‘Plumes stretch 4,800 miles across ocean!’ — Experts: There’s great alarm… Legitimate concern… Expected to dilute, but don’t really know — US Govt: ‘Monitoring beaches for debris from Fukushima nuclear disaster’ (VIDEO) February 28, 2014
  5. Senior Scientist: US West Coast had radiation dose estimated at 5 microsieverts from Fukushima; I’m not going to say it’s low, risk of health effects ‘not zero’ — CBC: There’s more radiation in potato chips than fish around Fukushima plant… so of course there’s nothing to fear on West Coast (VIDEO) June 7, 2014

46 comments to New study finds radiation dose for US West Coast from Fukushima over 500% of recent gov’t estimate — Release from Japan disaster could exceed Chernobyl (MAP)

  • devark devark

    "Watch Buesseler’s presentation here" – Id rather superglue my eyelids shut.

    • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

      devark- you are my new hero… I mean really…Ken B. AGAIN???

      I cannot believe Kenny B. is still taken seriously as a scientist. There should have been a caveat on this article to believe nothing that spews forth from this conflict of interest, compromised person.

      For those new to this forum, Ken Buesseler is a pro nuclear advocate that downplays everything to do with Fukushima.

      This Enenews posting should have had a headline that reads "if you believe Kenny Buesseler in this interview I have some great beach front property for sale by a little hamlet called Fukushima"

      Also, Ken, being the radio-chemist that you are, you should have mentioned that the natural isotopes are a completely different atomic signature than the man-made isotopes. All life on this planet evolved without a defense to man made isotopes…that is why everything is dying in the ocean…and soon everywhere.

      Also, the dilution is the solution story is old and worn out Kenny.

  • lickerface lickerface

    What a stupid finding. Seems like cooked numbers to me, and it doesn't the ongoing "where's the damn coriums" situation either. Once people realize this data only comprises of TWO DAYS OF RELEASES, and only when the focus becomes "wow this is only a fraction of the total releases thus far!", then we may progress. Any people never think they personally felt any ramifications of Chernobyl, and those numbers were cooked too, never showing any harm past the red patches om the Russian map. These same people will equate this "new" information as being "only 25% more dangerous than Chernobyl". The reality goes much further than just three isotopes and a tally of numbers.

    • lickerface lickerface

      *and it doesn't include the ongoing

      Btw, Buesseler's saying "Not to trivialize and say it’s low…" is to make him appear as a credible, trustworthy source because it gives the impression he is non-biased. He reports the good AND the bad. Problem is, he lies by omission too.

    • papacares papacares

      nothing to see here, another day another lie exposed – gesh, the stupidity truly is endless

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "Ukraine’s next crisis will be a devastatingly economic one, as violent conflict destroys critical infrastructure in the east and brings key industry to a halt, furthering weakening the energy sector by crippling coal-based electricity production.

      The Ukrainian military’s showdown with separatists in the industrial east has forced coal mines to severely cut production or close down entirely. This has led to an electricity crisis that can only be staunched by cutting domestic production along with exports to Europe, Crimea, and Belarus — or worse, getting more imports from Russia.

      In the coal centers of Ukraine’s industrial east—Luhansk and Donetsk—fighting has forced the full closure of an estimated 50 percent of coal mines, while overall coal production has fallen 22 percent over the same period last year.

      Key industry sources say they will potentially run out of coal in less than three weeks."

      Three weeks.

      "What about the 4 nuclear power stations, with 15 nuclear reactors operating in Ukraine (Khmelnitsky, Rovno, South Ukraine and Zaporozhe)?

      In the case of big power grid disruptions, will they continue working, or there is a risk of stop with no power, and consequent meltdown?"

      Fukushima Daichi will soon become just a drop in the bucket. And when Ebola kills most of the NPP staff and workers worldwide . . .

  • amberlight amberlight

    "New study finds radiation dose for US West Coast from bananas over 500% of recent gov’t estimate — Release from banana smoothies could exceed Chernobyl"


  • Pete

    lol, original Science Direct article is down for me.

    "Thank you for your patience

    We are currently experiencing a service outage due to unforeseen technical issues and are working to resolve them as soon as possible. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

    Customer Service
    Please contact our E-Customer Service staff for additional information."

    • nedlifromvermont

      Same thing they say when their reactors explode, "Sorry for your inconvenience …"

      What they don't say is, "And no you will get no insurance money beyond a few pennies on the dollar … we fixed that problem long ago …"

      Dirty rotten nuketards …

  • name999 name999

    speechless. Shaking my head.

  • dosdos dosdos

    Why is no one talking about the xenon release? It was by far the largest cut of the total and makes the cesium and iodine portions look tiny. Yet no one is talking about the part of the Fukushima release that was in itself several times larger than Chernobyl's aggregate release.


    • razzz razzz

      Depends on which isotopes from manmade fission you are talking about and their decay rates aka half life.

      Only anyone in the immediate vicinity of Daiichi during explosions was getting wasted by the 'fresh' fallout esp. the USS Reagan flotilla because any 'fresh' fallout with 100s of radioisotopes taking less than 24 hours to decay away hadn't had a chance to do so yet and was falling all around. Remember, the faster the decay rate of a radionuclide (the words radioisotopes and radionuclides are interchangeable, both words mean the same thing) the more active the decay rate is. Decaying could be in the forms of alpha, beta, gamma, neutrons, other gases and other radioactive elements i.e. many various radioactive daughter chain byproducts.

      Even though the following speaks of a controlled environment, who knows whats happens during a meltdown with little or no containment.
      From Wikipedia:

      "Xenon-135 (135Xe) is an unstable isotope of xenon with a half-life of about 9.2 hours. 135Xe is a fission product of uranium and it is the most powerful known neutron-absorbing nuclear poison (2 million barns[1]), with a significant effect on nuclear reactor operation. The ultimate yield of xenon-135 from fission is 6.3%, though most of this is from fission-produced tellurium-135 and iodine-135…"

      • Socrates

        And from the Xenon ratios, they immediately knew that the were core melts (within hours of the loss of coolant events)…. These ratios ste detectable from aircraft. These measurements detect any fissioning processes on the ground.

        This information was on a need to know basis only.

        • Jebus Jebus

          Here's the Europeans take on it in 2012…

          Xenon-133 and caesium-137 releases into the atmosphere from the
          Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: determination of the
          source term, atmospheric dispersion, and deposition

          There is strong evidence that the 133Xe release started before the first active venting was made, possibly indicating structural damage to reactor components and/or leaks due to overpressure which would have allowed early release of noble gases.
          For 137Cs, the inversion results give a total emission of 36.6 (20.1–53.1) PBq, or about 43 % of the estimated Chernobyl emission. Our results indicate that 137Cs emissions peaked on 14–15 March but were generally high from 12 until 19 March, when they suddenly dropped by orders of magnitude at the time when spraying of water on the spent fuel pool of unit 4 started. This indicates that emissions may not have originated only from the damaged reactor cores, but also from the spent fuel pool of unit 4.

          Notice that word deposition. It's meaning is very important.

  • If A Haiku Hid Music If A Haiku Hid Music

    Thank you Admin and ENE crew for continuing to find and share the results of publicly funded scientific studies like this one. These findings quite often (as is the case here) end up published in obscure journals, hidden behind pay-walls, registrations, and subscriptions – barriers to public knowledge and understanding.

    Sites like this one, and the community that has grown with it, provide meaningful insight, perspective, and context(!) and can translate scientific jargon in to something even the non-nuclear-engineers in the room can digest.

    Pointing out misleading statements, glaring discrepancies, gross underestimates, omissions, and blatant lies is equally important, and those here with sharp eyes and minds rarely miss a beat.

    Take this article for example, within 15 minutes of going up, lickerface has pointed out significant problems with the study. Where is the official scientific scrutiny if this can be so easily torn to shreds?

    – Only 3 isotopes, out of… how many?
    – Short source-term assumed, 'the emission from the morning of 12 March to late night of 14 March' possibly off by 'a factor of 5 or greater'. 3 days or possibly 15 days, compared with 3+ years.
    – The description of the initial incident makes it sound like the earthquake didn't damage the plant, only the tsunami was to blame.
    – (Much more)

    Pay attention to what they say:

    'The simulation shows' 'An early quantitative estimation'

    'We told you we were just guessing all…

    • nedlifromvermont

      Valid Testimony… the nuketurds look away … know not what to say … then they reach for a diversionary lie, like, "No one has died from Fukushima NPP accident …"

      Or: "Oswald killed Kennedy, all by his lonesome …"

      peace, 'newsers, we fight on …

    • Angela_R

      Yes, If a Haiku Hid Music, the study was on only 3 radioactive isotopes
      The link in the above article provides the following:
      "Among the most abundant radioactive species released were iodine and cesium isotopes. By means of an atmospheric dispersion Lagrangian code and publicly available meteorological data, the atmospheric dispersion of 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs have been simulated for three months after the event with a spatial resolution of 0.5° × 0.5° globally…"

      A recent ENENEWS article also had the following heading:

      'Experts: Plutonium and uranium flow into ocean from Fukushima — “Heavily contaminated” water is leaking out of plant — Melted fuel releasing hundreds of different radioactive materials — Officials refuse to investigate 90% of these (VIDEO)

      Published: August 19th, 2014 at 2:59 am ET'

      I repeat "MELTED FUEL RELEASING HUNDREDS OF DIFFERENT RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS" but really, under these conditions, can they ever be investigated?

      • Angela_R

        Returning to another study, linked to recently, where potassium 40 in seawater was measured against cesium. The study showed high levels of radioactive Potassium 40!
        Btw, Potassium 40 is separated in the nuclear process from its two other isotopes. NATURAL potassium consists, not of one isotope, but of three.
        It is NATURAL, WHOLE potassium that is found in bananas.

        Again, I draw attention to a report published in 2009 citing the dangers of high Potassium 40

        and there are hundreds of other radionuclides yet to be investigated…

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes, pay attention to how and what they say.. 🙂

  • GQR2

    Somebody really ought to send Kelp Boy the memo.

  • Nick

    Let's just forget Fukushima.

    Yeah, the radiation was a tad high in the USA, but so what? Everytime you tan in the sun you are getting zapped by radiation.

    People need to focus on important stuff, like which new car to test drive, or which cell-phone carrier has the best data-stream deals for keeping tabs with the VERY important social media streams.

    Face it, 99.999% OF HUMANITY is too simple to grasp the concept that ionizing radiation is TATAL (toxic at the atomic level).

    Eat rice from Fukushima!

    Wear pink.

    Go shopping.

    Remember, it is the STRESS of thinking about radiation that is harmful.

    • scottyji scottyji

      Thank you…I was clearly loosing my life's focus by spending so much time with this silly Fukushima thing. Back to shopping, running up the credit cards, and gambling at the casinos.

  • WindorSolarPlease

    I do believe that was just an estimate. I also believe they knew the really truth all along.

    Quote: "could" exceed Chernobyl

    I'm laughing now..You know it has/will/and it'll keep going.

  • tinfoilhatbrian tinfoilhatbrian

    I would think the definition of a "new study" at this point would be a detailed report of all actual readings from all actual testing stations from all the testing stations on the planet in real time. And while they are at it how about actual tests of our soil water and food both imported and domestic? I think most people don't want to hear the facts and have a hard time understanding what it means. The nuketards have that in their favor big time! peace and thanks!

    • WindorSolarPlease

      I agree tinfoilhatbrian..

      New Study is from Past Results. Wonder what the new results show?

  • Socrates

    Just when you start believing in one number, they admit that it was actually many times worse that they said.

    Of course Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl!

    Just wait until 2036. That is twenty-five years afterwards. We will find out that Fukushima was twenty Chernobyls.

    Fukushima is starting to sink in to even the thickest skulls out there. You cannot be too stupid, but you can be too smart to get it.

    Many people cannot handle the truth. They believe that those people in authority would never take such chances with large consequence activities. Typically, the authoritarian personality types are followers, too. But the Emperor has no clothes!

    Humans are primates. Monkey see, monkey do. Follow the Alpha monkey. He must be a good ruler. Maybe some day, you will be an Alpha. Until then, you must obey.

    • Cisco Cisco

      Socrates…I follow you and I nearly always agree with your work; but I think, any people around in 2036 will be in loin clothes ferreting daily for food, water and shelter.

      "Just wait until 2036. That is twenty-five years afterwards. We will find out that Fukushima was twenty Chernobyls."

      If Daiichi is abandoned and it catches fire (and it will, it's just a matter of when), I estimate an 85% extinction of all biological systems within 15/18 years of that event. Other Japanese NPP's will also be abandoned and melt down, adding to the already, colossal discharge of radioactivity from Daiichi. The planet will be engulfed in a radioactive firestorm, for lack of a better way to describe it

      Food and water wars will break out. Globally, severely compromised immune systems of all bio-systems will succumb to bacteria, viruses, and/or all the auto immune diseases. Resulting epidemics will wipe out populations of tens and hundreds of millions. Heart disease and cancer will be front and center, prematurely killing hundreds of millions. We've already had a preview of that with the sea creatures.

      Unfortunately, that's what our future is going to look like. 2036 will not be a good time, to be alive, on this planet.

      Thanks for your good works.

      • Socrates


        I am very worried myself. When 3-11 happened, I thought of the movie On the Beach. I always knew there were triple core melts and sfp fires. I am not reassured with die-offs.

        The West Coast will get worse very likely. There are thousands of tons of fuel rods over there. That is enough to cause an extinction level event. The buildings are gone. It could take out other sites in Japan. God help us all.

  • Sol Man

    But the article from the 17th stated the problem a bit differently.

    Cs measured at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 times normal.
    Very bad news either way.

  • We Not They Finally

    Love when they say "total," long long ago on that foggy day in the past in 2011. A distant memory, now safely receding into the sunset [sarc]

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    "dose" is a bad joke. How do they measure the "dose" from an inhaled/ingested hot particle?

  • EKO K£AP$€

    Lets see! 3 atomic meltdowns including reprocessed fuel vs a partial meltdown in Chernobyl.

    It couldn't be more dangerous than Chernobyl, surely?

    Bloody Plutonians partying on the Titanic!

    It's your sins that die; not you, didn't read your safety manual did you?

  • razzz razzz

    Back at the ranch, TEPCO is about to be ordered to stop working on the ice plugs in the tunnel passage ways because it is an attempted failure. A still taken from the area they are trying to plug shows a pixellated camera shot. Much like what you would find near an escaped melted core just before the robot goes dead from past TEPCO investigations around highly radioactive broken containment areas.

    News from TEPCO about Daiichi is nonexistent lately. I guess radioactivity takes a vacation during the summer too. That or the site is becoming to radioactive for workers to even show up.

  • Concerned Dad

    First time here. Looking for advice. Within a week and a half of Fukushima blowing up my family and I were outside in extremely unseasonably good weather in southwest Michigan. Not sure if anything could have spread here between 1 and 2 weeks, but I remember a film of dust on our car and breathing it in when we took off in the car, windows open. It left a weird metallic taste in my mouth that lasted a few days. I confiscated my son's magnifying glass since he was being cruel to ants & checked out the dust. I had to strain my eyes, but it looked spherical to me. I figured the local pharmaceutical company was spewing pollution in the air. Never made the connection. Now my children are getting nosebleeds a couple times a week and I have lumps on either side of my throat that are starting to get painful. I haven't checked their throats yet because I don't want to alarm them. I'm hoping this is just coincidental. Is there something I can do or should be doing? I figured someone on here would know. I'm fairly smart, but my science lingo is limited. If you have any wisdom for me, please keep it simple.

  • sueec

    Go see a doctor. Your first presumption re the dust may still be correct …the chemical plant. Most of the stuff from the jetstream comes down with rain/ snow etc… However the unasked question is fallout causing you to have nosebleeds etc. well yes it could be. The doctor won't tell you that though and you can satisfy yourself by swapping the magnifying glass with a Geiger counter; I would. They are not that expensive and if you're handy you can buy kits and build a basic one yourself You wait til it rains and then check the puddles of rain on your car. This is your ONLY way of finding this out as your government is not telling you,even if they are testing. There are now apps on the iPhone that will pair with geigers and will interpret the results for you. There are also citizen radiation testing groups across the globe….but be prepared the readings are getting pretty consistently awful… Then what do you do? Rail against it , test, weep for your grandchildren's world, write emails and comments, test, worry about your kids in the rain and then what……I'm still figuring that bit out four long years on.

    • Concerned Dad

      Thank you for responding. So we're probably screwed? A neighbor of mine thats all into survival stuff said something about taking iodine of some very specific type, along with a whole lot of technocratic talk. It was like throwing 8 tennis balls to a dog. I don't think I caught any of it. Just thought it was more crazy talk anyway. Dude kinda scares me, so I haven't asked him to reiterate or write it down. Maybe he will tell me again now. I've always had the feeling I shouldn't approach his yard if tshtf, though. He's always talking about "when the time comes," he's going to do this and that. What time, when the Icecapades come to town?

      • tnnelson tnnelson

        I too was very disturbed when enlightened of Fukushima a year and a half ago now. The best advise I received from Anne was "be Aware"….My neighbor in Florida who is an electrical engineer told me not to eat produce from California. Not to even put the onions I had purchased into my compost. He said "Throw them away" he told me to read and go on to….Since then I have tried to stay away from California products, I follow enenews, and I stay out of the rain. But it seems like unless you can afford to move below the 15th parallel in the Southern hemosphere one is in trouble. Sad thoughts.