Bloomberg News, Feb. 3, 2014: Fukushima-US radiation runoff will merge on West Coast — The runoff from the Japanese plant will mingle with radiation released by other atomic stations such as Diablo Canyon in California. Under normal operations, Diablo Canyon discharges more radiation into the sea, albeit of a less dangerous isotope, than the Fukushima station [...] [There's] startling amounts that are released into the environment by the 435 nuclear power plants operating worldwide [...] Diablo Canyon plant in San Luis Obispo discharged 323 million liters of water into the Pacific in 2012, or about 870 tons a day, according to data from [its operator PG&E] [...] That water contained 3,670 curies of tritium, or 136 trillion becquerels, according to the company, almost three-and-a-half times the amount released from the Fukushima plant into the ocean in the period starting May 2011. The plant also discharged cesium-137 and strontium-90 though at lower levels than Fukushima. [...]
Colin Hill, associate professor of radiation oncology at USC, Feb. 3, 2014: [Tritium can] contaminate sea creatures that encounter the isotope in high levels.
PG&E spokesman Blair Jones, Feb. 3, 2014: Total liquid discharges from Diablo Canyon in 2012 were 0.0165 percent of what the NRC allows. “Tritium is produced when a reactor is operating [...] Fukushima is not operating so naturally the tritium levels are lower.”
Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Oct. 19, 2013 (at 26:15 in): [The releases are] not continuously monitored. In my opinion, the NRC is not looking very closely over the shoulder of the companies. For instance, tritium is released periodically, but I’m not sure when the measurements are made, and that’s not documented in the environmental reports. Are the water measurements made during the release? How are the averages reported? How are the totals calculated?
Dr. Donald Moiser, professor at The Scripps Research Institute (Department of Immunology) and member of Del Mar city council in California, Oct. 19, 2013 (at 27:15 in): The problem with the data is tritium releases are episodic, so they’ll have a release of tritium one day a month when they report that to the NRC they’ll say this is the amount of tritium we released over the year. You have 5 days of release but you divide that by 365 days it doesn’t look like so much tritium, but if you’re sitting right next to the plant on the day of release, it’s quite a bit. There’s some data from Europe that says the spikes are dangerous. There’s no data in the U.S. that you can interpret.
Published: February 4th, 2014 at 10:00 am ET