Scientists: “We are not prepared for this, nobody is prepared” — Debris could bring radioactive contamination to US, Canada — May impact marine life (VIDEO)

Published: December 27th, 2011 at 4:50 pm ET


Title: Japan tsunami debris starts to hit US coast

Source: AFP

Date: Dec 26, 2011

Description: As much as 20 million tons of debris is estimated to have washed out to sea when the tsunami struck Japan in March. Now the first traces are appearing on the other side of Pacific ocean, on US and Canadian shores.

Transcript Excerpts

Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, PhD: “We are not prepared for this. Nobody is prepared. Nobody has even thought through the dimensions. This is unprecedented in scientific history. It’s unprecedented in recorded history. There’s never been a devastation on one continent that has moved off to the other continent and actually recorded.”

Reporter: “Scientists like Ebbesmeyer say the debris could bring toxic or radioactive contamination from Japan all the way here. And that it could impact marine life and even maritime shipping.”

US Response

AFP: No cause for alarm… Only lumber, ‘infrastructure’, and household items… “We don’t expect any debris items that are exotic or unusual” -NOAA

Canadian Response

CBC: “The province [of British Columbia] will start working with national and municipal officials to prepare for the wave of trash that’s expected to hit the coast.”

h/t Rumorecurioso


Published: December 27th, 2011 at 4:50 pm ET


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23 comments to Scientists: “We are not prepared for this, nobody is prepared” — Debris could bring radioactive contamination to US, Canada — May impact marine life (VIDEO)

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “Nobody has even thought through the dimensions.”

    When might they, um, think about it?

    How about nine months ago? No?… How about NOW?

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Oops! Their all on Christmas Vacation.
    This news is HORRIBLE! Canada and US response is CRIMINAL!!

  • James2

    An understatements – only 9.5-14% of the fuel at Fukushima Daichi has melted so far.

    Another 86% of the fuel on site is at risk, and a good portion of that is likely to melt eventually.

    • dosdos dosdos

      That’s if you count the common storage and 5 and 6. And the amount is probably higher than 14%, probably closer to 25%.

  • Mack Mack

    NOAA — right or wrong?

    – Debris will arrive at NW Hawaii islands this winter

    – Debris will arrive at California coast some time in 2013

    – Right after tsunami, NOAA worked with NASA to get satellite imagery and tracked debris – but as of April 14th, not able to track debris because it dispersed so much

    – Will continue to be monitoring for radioactivity although radioactivity “highly unlikely”

  • Mack Mack


    Will continue to be monitoring DEBRIS for radioactivity although radioactivity “highly unlikely”

  • Mack Mack

    Kudos to Oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, PhD, who was right about the arrival-time of debris all along.

  • Kevin Kevin

    As some of you are aware some uf us here worked to encourage Skytruth to acquire images of the debris feild and in BC where I live a working group has been establihsed in order to manage the issue.

    An interest yet, again, unreported aspect of this issue is that there already exists a huge, and I mean huge (three times the sise of Texas huge) debris feild that has accumulated in the mid pacific. I presume, due to natural ocean currents. As a result much of the Japanese debris will end up in there. Which poses a serious problem for anyone intersted in ever cleaning up this mess as the peppering of radioacitve materials throughout the existing debris field will discourage people whom might be interested in performing the work.

    A small upside is that much of the Japanese debris may not ever reach our shores in North America, small repreive but a real one. Obviously this does little to aleviate the already enormous problem that existed well before the Japanese disaster but does aleviate the risk of coastal contamination from debris in the least.

    This of course also applies to radioactive water. Given the natrual course of the currents girates and flows to the mid pacfic not unlike a giant toilet bowl that means much of the radioactive particles should also wind up there. Again absolutely no benefit and a major complication for the existing problem but a slight relief for coastal communities.

    Now lets encourage the largely apathetic NGO community to come up with the ways and means of tackling a radioactive flotsam feild three times the size of Texas in the middle of the ocean. A gargantuan task if there ever was one.

    • James Tekton James Tekton

      Hello K,

      Very good observation.

      You said:

      “This of course also applies to radioactive water. Given the natrual course of the currents girates and flows to the mid pacfic not unlike a giant toilet bowl that means much of the radioactive particles should also wind up there.”

      We can be sure the radioactivity is already there. One of the reasons I pulled back from a trip out there. It may be too late to do any good out west when considering the radiation in the water has no doubt preceded the advance of the flotsam. One wonders if anyone is taking readings on this stuff that is coming in? Or the water?? Funny how greed and glory clouds the clarity of safety.

      • James Tekton James Tekton

        And speaking of good observations, this sister needs to join the crew here for her light is bright! Lets all invite her.

        • She frequents here james.

          She also runs this thread here on glp if you want to chat with her:

          User ID: 3398825
          United States
          12/15/2011 01:55 PM
          Report Abusive Post
          Report Copyright Violation

          West Coast beaches may be closed indefinitely from radioactive tsunami debris
          Enenews reporting today that first tsunami debris hit Vancouver 2 weeks ago. Police departments being told to “get geiger counters”…NOW

          [link to]

          DHS has dropped the ball on this.
          FEMA – where the F]

          Kiss the beaches goodbye…they will have to be closed for decontamination.

          Seems like a whole new job market needs to be created. Forget fishing…outfit these guys with hazmat suits and gear and START PICKING UP THIS $#!T before it comes ashore!!!!!!!!!!!

          That video surfaced after the comments I left on enenews on the nw beaches first tsunami debries.

          I dont know if she has an enenews user name though…

          Well take care:) & thanks again!

  • AkDave AkDave

    More Like it Has! Dang Scientists.

  • bluebonnet bluebonnet

    I posted this link on an older thread, but it seems to belong here. MSNBC has an article saying that drones have been deployed to monitor whales and protect them from Japanese whalers. Why couldn’t they monitor the debris field ? Maybe they could also do some radiation monitoring.

  • Anthony Anthony

    Canada quietly shipping bomb-grade uranium to U.S., says ‘Secret’ federal memo
    By Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – 15 hours ago

  • Ron

    QUESTION: Why isn’t the Japanese government and TEPCO on their way over here right now to clean this toxic mess up? Do they think that that it’s somehow our responsibility? Where is the legendary Japanese sense of honor?

    Oh, that’s right. this is the same government and company that knowingly kept their people in the dark about the extent of the accident and that has also taken money meant to help out the victims of 3/11 and instead sneakily gave it to a bunch of vicious whalers so they could hunt hundreds the world’s most peaceful animals in an established WHALE SANCTUARY (the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary)!


    • James2

      I do not think cleaning up NA beaches is legally or ethically Japan’s responsibility.

      The debris are a result of the horrendous tsunami and had nothing to do with the nuke meltdown. I’m quite certain they didn’t send them over purposefully.

      Personally I think the nuclear threat on these debris is overblown – however this is the story that seems to be sticking….

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      QUESTION for you, Ron: Why isn’t the US govmt and army not on their way over to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. pp. right now to clean the toxic mess up? Do they think that that it’s somehow others’ responsibility? Where is the legendary American sense of honor?

      No offense inended. Just a thought.

  • lokay5 lokay5

    Seals in Seattle may be victims of Fukushima Radiation.

    On MSNBC no less!

  • bleep_hits_blades

    Uh… we are ‘hung out to dry’….

    Humankind has tripped over its own multi-flawed nature and is tumbling headlong down the stairs… down, down, down…

    at the bottom…. a whole bunch of flotsam and jetsam, lazily circling…

    but not to worry… just heard on CNN that it’s ‘probably’ not radioactive flotsam and jetsam… not ‘very’ radioactive, anyway.

    howsomever, at the commercial break there was a pitch for a new product, Radionuclides-B-Gone….

    Doggone it, even though there is NO I repeat NO threat… I think I gon’ get me some…

  • NeverAnyDanger

    I think Oprah did a show where she went out in the Pacific to show people the enormous plastic debris field – our plastic legacy. Maybe the Japanese debris field will bring the plastic debris field with it.

    Why aren’t we seeing any pictures of the debris field and how it’s moving? I guess no ships have tried to get close to it? We’ve got satellites for god’s sake. Someone has to be monitoring this stuff – the govt, the navy, all I hear is that they don’t know where it is. It’s going to be a lot easier to find than all the cores.