Senior Scientist: 100 times more strontium than cesium in water at Fukushima plant — “Strontium gets into your bones… it changes the equation” — Not “too” concerned U.S. fish will be affected

Published: August 7th, 2013 at 7:17 pm ET


National Geographic, August 7, 2013: […] The makeup of the radioactive material being leaked by the plant has changed. [Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who has analyzed thousands of samples of fish from the area] said the initial leak had a high concentration of cesium isotopes, but the water flowing from the plant into the ocean now is likely to be proportionally much higher in strontium-90, another radioactive substance that is absorbed differently by the human body and has different risks. The tanks (on the plant site) have 100 times more strontium than cesium, Buesseler said. He believes that the cesium is retained in the soil under the plant, while strontium and tritium, another radioactive substance, are continuing to escape. […] the higher concentration of strontium-90 that is now in the outflow poses a trickier problem, because it is a bone-seeking isotope. “Cesium is like salt—it goes in and out of your body quickly,” he explains. “Strontium gets into your bones.” While he’s still not too concerned that fish caught off the U.S. coast will be affected, “strontium changes the equation for Japanese fisheries, as to when their fish will be safe to eat.” […]

The Independent, August 7, 2013: […] Every Thursday [fisherman Yoshio Ichida, who lives 27 miles from Fukushima Daiichi] and his colleagues learn the latest radioactive readings from the sea. “Until recently, we only detected caesium, but now we detect strontium” […]

See also: [intlink id=”nuclear-expert-water-now-at-fukushima-plant-has-3-times-more-cesium-than-chernobyl-released-that-underscores-the-scale-of-this-never-ending-threat” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: August 7th, 2013 at 7:17 pm ET


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62 comments to Senior Scientist: 100 times more strontium than cesium in water at Fukushima plant — “Strontium gets into your bones… it changes the equation” — Not “too” concerned U.S. fish will be affected

  • Kassandra

    Wow! The faucets have been unleashed to the media.

    What is going on? Why are they finally starting to talk about it?

    I'm getting worried.

    • Kassandra

      Read the National Geographic article. It frames the strontium as NEW in the ocean when scientific studies were published over a year ago documenting strontium in the water:

      P. Povinec, K. Hirose, and M. Aoyama (18 September 2012) ‘Radiostrontium in the Western North Pacific: Characteristics, Behavior, and the Fukushima Impact’, Environmental Science & Technology, 46.18, 10356–10363.

      N. Casacuberta, P. Masque, J. Garcia-Orellana, R. Garcia-Tenorio, and K. Buesseler (2013) ‘90Sr and 89Sr in Seawater off Japan as a Consequence of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Accident’, Biogeosciences Discussion, 10, 2039-2067, p. 2047.

      WHY is Buesseler talking now?

    • domjox domjox

      we should be, as it is only going to get worse from here.

    • davidh7426 davidh7426

      Maybe the radiation caused someone to 'mutate' and grow a conscience.

      Or maybe it's a case of "We no longer care if you find out the truth, you can't touch us".

      • We Not They Finally

        That, and that, but just maybe… There is a lot of PANIC surfacing now. And the sweeping alarming statements cannot be retracted, because this isn't just a STORY about something — it's real ongoing physical reality.

        So davidh7426, I totally get it about your cynicism. No one over there has given any cause for confidence or trust. But for the first time, they themselves are expressing panic. So we also might surmise that maybe they themselves think that they CANNOT keep a lid on it any longer. And if so, that's almost more scary than us just sitting here trying to decipher a bunch of lies. If it's the tipping point for THEM, they may have really lost hope of doing ANYTHING effective about this.

        A big worry, of course, is how governments will be knee-jerking internationally. The U.S. apparently put out an INSANE warning recently — that we could be attacked anywhere in the world, any place, at any time, by any means, no specifics at all — yet we were told we should blame it all on AL QUAEDA??!!

        When whole governments go into an insanity mode[!!], it starts to get even more scary than lies about Fukushima itself. It's political jerking around, economic jerking around, which could lead to yet more wrongful control of our LIVES,not just whether radioactivity is poisoning our water, our air, our food.

    • ftlt

      15 minutes of attention by the media per usual a slow news period ..

      Or it is a full court press to get international aid to an international problem that should have been addressed 21/2 years ago

      Funny thing about international aid … Most pledges are not honored… Over and over and over…

    • Only 1% is being talked about.. Everything is under control.

      It is the other 99% that they are hiding that they will not disclose.

      No worries.. be happy.

      How Dangerous Is 400-6000 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via @AGreenRoad

      Hot Particles (Fuel Fleas) From Fukushima Continue To Circulate Globally; via @AGreenRoad

  • dopestone dopestone

    As if the strontium was waiting nicely in line to come out and say Hi!

    • Kassandra


    • mairs mairs

      Was it only two days ago that the water only had tritium in it?

      • We Not They Finally

        Crap. There are 1,946 radionuclides out there, most of them hazardous to your health. So today they talk about cesium, tomorrow, strontium, the day after, tritium. It's like an epic film with a cast of thousands and occasionally someone steps forward to introduce a star. People need to know the whole SCOPE of it, but that will surely scare the bejesus out of us.

  • norbu norbu

    Not “too” concerned U.S. fish will be affected" Oh because US fish have demeron suits with cbrn masks. [sarc] Maybe because it is going to get worse soon and almost everyone is in the dark about fukusmokeysteam and they probably will have a hard time believing it now. Here are the black suits spotted on R3 some time ago.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      That's what I thought after reading US fish won't be affected. Unreal Also I found the number for subsidence around Reactor four it sunk 36 inches right after the earthquake and since then another 30 inches. They are concerned about the ground softening due to the massive amounts of water thus they fear an earthquake could easily topple the reactor buildings. Isn't that comforting? It seems like TEPCO is making this disaster ever worse as impossible as that sounds.

      • dka

        US fish won't be affected because they are not allowed to go swim and feed in the contaminated sea area.
        US fish don't have passport to go there anyway. Fish from contaminated zone also never travel to US.
        And fish never, never ever, swim from contaminated sea areas to US.
        And the fish who eat fish who eat contaminated fish never go swimming where US fisherman can catch them anyway.
        And it is impossible to buy fish from the pacific in the US. Sorry I mean it is impossible to buy imported fish from contaminated sea zone. Even if the fish were caught by Asian fisherman and sold to the US. You will never ever find fish from China or Japan in the US. Never.
        So US can really feel as if nothing is happening.
        I even wonder why they bother reporting this news.

    • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

      haha, yeah! It's amazing. All of the lies at the beginning of the disaster to "avert a panic", right? So, they've had more that two years to educate the citizenry of the world as to exactly what's going on and what we all need to do, so that when the truth DOES come out, there won't be panic at all, just people doing what they need to, right? haha. Over two years and still no one knows. They are going to have to start their PR program over from scratch so as not to cause a panic when they tell them their last PR scheme to avert panic was bull…right?

      I think Davidh7426 has it about right…the main players are long gone. The only ones left in command are the puppets that were put there to deal with the little-folk.

      • We Not They Finally

        M.E., THEY are panicking now, so it's really REALLY bad over there. I don't think that this is just a break in between PR programs. But now that it is coming out more, we have to watch for (possibly dangerous) DIVERSIONS on the part of knee-jerking governments — like our own!

        I disagree, however, that we are just dealing with puppets. Obama? A puppet. But Shinzo Abe, no. He is the grandson of a WWII Japanese war criminal and is very militaristic and chauvinistic about Japan. According to Yoichi Shimatsu, he was right in the thick of building Japan's nuclear program and having the deadly MOX fuel brought in. He is "a main player," not a puppet. Which makes one frightened abut dictatorial powers and the like. Shimatsu (who is Japanese-American and goes to Japan periodically)says that no one in Japan has the money or power to oppose him, and he expects a military dictatorship to be on the way.

        • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

          I agree that it's bad there, but that's no reason for anyone (especially 'newsers) to feel any renewed sense of alarm or panic. Anyone following this site (or some others) and doing their homework the past couple of years knows that the Daiichi event is/was worst case scenario from the beginning. So, absolutely nothing that comes out of the media/governements on the topic should come as ANY surprise. Though we are always learning new things, they are always confirming that the event it worst case.

          Everyone knowing this (who has been able) has been ready or has been getting ready for the next steps that are to come. Everyone knowing this has eliminated things from their diet, altered behaviors, altered spending patters, given up old bad habits, taken another look at their spirituality, did some extra work voluntarily, levelled with their family/friends/neighbors, planted seeds, used less gasoline, conserved water, began composting…on and on and on. These are not difficult changes in our lives, but they make a huge difference. This is not "survival-mode" living, it's how we should have been all along…."considerately".

          As for "Honest Ab-ay", everyone knows he fixed the election..EVERYONE. Throw him out or face the consequences. As for "Honest Oh-Bah", he ain't no ring-leaader, he's following orders, too. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be stripped of all assets and jailed for crimes against humanity…

    • We Not They Finally

      Code words for "don't eat the fish."

    • Just wait, soon they will add frilly dresses to that make it the latest rage in the fashion world.

      EVERYONE has got to own one of these and wear it to a cocktail party…

  • Jebus Jebus

    “Strontium gets into your bones.”


  • Kassandra

    Strontium can also enter the brain's calcium-ion channels

    Xu-Friedman, M. A., & Regehr, W G. (1999, April). Presynaptic strontium dynamics and synaptic transmission. Biophys J., 76(4), 2029–2042.

  • Sol Man

    It's not coming, it has always been here, the risk- of the possibility of what is being played out now, would, indeed, happen.
    Welcome to the awful nightmare that was playing in the background, until 3/11/11.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    This appears to be a continued downplaying of the situation. Any alarmed public will read that the levels are so low its not a threat, at most suggesting that there will be a time lapse before Japanese fish are safe to eat. Hes not wrong, there will be a time lapse!

    Dr. Strohm reports that Fukushima has 12,000 times the radiation contained inside of the reactors and spent fuel pools, compared to Chernobyl

    The total amount of 90Sr released to the marine environment in the form of highly radioactive wastewater could reach about 1 PBq, an increase in strontium of 4 to 5 orders of magnitude..10 to 100 thousand times…pretty significant.
    Source: Environmental Science & Technology

    currents and animals carry the radionuclides across the ocean assuring that all life in the ocean will be affected to some degree.

    Buesseler….do us a favor and get those sea lion radioactivity reports. …contempt…

    • Kassandra

      I'm waiting for this guy's conscience to overwhelm his political instincts.

      I'm sure he loves the ocean in his heart.

      He may even have children.

    • We Not They Finally

      CS, Dr. Strohm's interview (on agreenroad) is GREAT and everyone should listen to it.

      I just don't think that the current flurry of news is "downplaying" at all COMPARED TO what's been coming out of Japan since 3-11. I think they are showing that they are by now seriously panicked themselves. The public maybe now is being steered towards "a new normal," which is actually pretty scary.

      • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

        WNTF, well the admissions are getting really juicy. Still the above story says the expert is not too concerned for U.S. coast, when in fact its dire, thats why I said downplay. But I wrote something suggesting wide geopolitical influences responding to KDM. As always, there is 10x the hidden intrigue than we are privy to by these headlines

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose creatures don't migrate or anything.

    Pacific Tuna Migration

    The Leatherback Turtle

    The Porpoise

    The Humpback Whale

    How many species will be affected?
    How can it NOT US fisheries?

    • andagi andagi

      Hi Heart 🙂
      Does anyone here know anything about the 'Tooth Fairy Project'?
      I've read mixed reviews, but they were measuring strontium in children's baby teeth sometime back.

      • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

        I've read of it. It makes perfect sense. How else are you going to get baby's/children's teeth to test for radionuclides following a meltdown or other large event without alerting the parents to what you're doing? Any ideas?

        I'd bet my last can of pre-Fuku Tuna that the tooth fairy has been very busy, again, the past two years…

        Know any dentists well enough to ask them serious questions? If you do, record it and throw it on the net.

        Side note, I believe the children's teet DO need to be tested for radionuclides, especially after a meltdown event…but that the children and the parents should be INFORMED of the testing and the RESULTS so they can make proper decisions. If I had a kid who tested positive for elevated levels of strontium in his teeth, you bet your ass I'd sell everything I had and switch hemispheres. Then again, if I had any children, I would have switched hemispheres on 3/18/11 when I first heard about the quake, and first saw video of the plant getting swamped.

        I'm only still here because my family is here, and I've decided to stay and fight (non-violently).

        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          Hi ME, radioactive substances have been found around Sellafield reprocessing plant as well. It's not only Fuku which causes it…..:-(

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Hola adagi, and while you're at it – read about "Project Sunshine". The US military wanted to measure the impact of nuclear testing on humans – how could you do it easier than stealing irradiated bodyparts worldwide without telling the families? (Sarc)


  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    PS..Typo..How can it NOT affect US fisheries?

    I just can't believe Buesseler..says this stuff.
    I just can't.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      No US fish are stronger than the radiation storm and they don't swim outside our border. So no worries it's safe to consume seafood as long as it was caught in US waters. This is so frustrating they just can't seem to tell the truth concerning a wide array of topics but particularly nuclear accidents.

      • We Not They Finally

        Are you saying this sarcastically or for real? Even two summers ago blue fin tuna off the California coast were radioactive. Some fish swim great distances. And even the plankton contamination is spreading — it's already severe in Hawaii.

    • lickerface lickerface

      I don't believe him either. His target reader is a dumb person who doesn't check sources and other "facts".

    • davidh7426 davidh7426

      Everyone keeps forgetting the cardinal rule…


      So no mention of radiation, or if radiation must be mentioned, it's ALWAYS in a galaxy/country far, far away… And couldn't possibly get here before, say, next week.

      And anyway it's totally harmless, you could even say it's healthy.

      • We Not They Finally

        It might just actually be helpful to NOT keep calling the people "sheeple." There is the assumption that I'm so informed and all these "other" people are idiots. Understand, I am WAY unhappy at the lack of public awareness. But "sheeple" degrades us all. Let's all pull together best we can.

        Anyway, I've noticed that many people calling all the OTHER people "sheeple" think that their edge comes from a personal arsenal of guns. It's just not a healthy public climate.

  • Jebus Jebus

    Keep in mind the strontium that occurs naturally.
    Don't be fooled by the MSM downplay. Study up.

    These are serious isotopes, of strontium, to be in the food chain.
    You may not eat many fish bones, but cooking will leach out the minerals from the bones.
    The other path I see is to our pets.
    I'm pretty sure no bones are spared in pet food.

    Two and a half years of radioactive strontium gushing into the sea.

    Whats next? Because we have, Caesium, Plutonium, Uranium, Tritium and Strontium now confirmed, thats five down, and about one thousand nine hundred and sixty five more isotopes to go…

    • Here's yet another way that radioactive contamination will find it's way through the food chain.

      FISH MEAL, or fishmeal, is a commercial product made from fish and the BONES and offal from processed fish.

      Fishmeal is a nutrient-rich and high protein supplement feed ingredient that stores well, and is used primarily in diets for domestic animals and sometimes as a high-quality ORGANIC FERTILIZER.

      Just when I was getting used to eating organically grown vegetables.

      People just don't get what's coming in the not so distant future.

      • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

        ChasAha, thank you always for your posts. I know have the honor of replying to one of yours…:

        If you're buying it ("organic" labeled products) from a store (ANY STORE), then you can bet your ass it's nothing even close to "organic". People need to remember that the term "organic" doesn't actually mean much. It's more of a "brand name" than any sort of a "guarantee" (haha, I laugh at the idea of a "guaranteed organic" product). There's no such thing (in the sense that most people think of it)! For instance, I'm not going to get too deep into it, but to keep it short, organic does not say anything about what's INSIDE of your "organic" oranges. And as far as chemicals/pesticides…"organic" products use things that are just as harmful, they've just been "approved for 'organic' use". Another thing, a woman yesterday said to me, "I buy organic bread because it's better for me and the environment." I told her to look at the back in the ingredients. It said, "organically" SPROUTED wheat, "organically" SPROUTED barely, "organically" Sprouted rye,…and on and on. You see? It all means nothing. "organically sprouted", haha! Yeah, thanks for your genetically modified, pesticide laced, strontium-filled, arsenic laden, "organically" SPROUTED products…

        See? It's all fake. It's the same stuff, just the price jacked up to make "consumers" think they did something good. Then the consumer says, "oh, it's 4 times the…

        • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

          …cost it must be better…"


          And all of this doesn't take any pollution or fallout into effect. The "organic" people are growing food out of the same land. Most of the big companies are still using tractors that are burning oil. Pollution from cars and cities falls from the sky 24 hours a day onto their lands. Radionuclides have fallen on every field…some of the "organic" fields even more than the others. Nobody is testing.

          We currently live in a world where it is 100% IMPOSSIBLE to ensure the quality of your food. The absolute BEST thing you can do is to grow it yourself, and even then you have no control over the rain that falls on your land. Think you can grow in a greenhouse and be safe? Think again. In a greenhouse you're either growing out of the ground or importing soil. If you're importing soil, where's it coming from, and how long is it going to last? Further, importing soil is a dis-service to the environment and only perpetuating the practices that bring us to the current, Post-Fukushima world. Conclusion: Mission impossible to feed yourself or your loved ones with enough food for a healthy life without ingesting man-made pollutants and nuclides. The best you can do is grow it yourself. You can test your soil, but I wouldn't put much faith in it. The roots of beets can reach 25 feet down. No one is getting a soil test that low…and shouldn't be, anyway.

        • [Organic] "There's no such thing (in the sense that most people think of it)!" – MoonlightEmpire

          I agree 100%. Well stated.

          • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

            Thank you. I wish you the best and encourage you in your continued work here. I hope only that my comments help to inspire and advance even one more person.

            Much of my inspiration has come from people here at ENE.

      • We Not They Finally

        Yeah. That gets especially scary to even people who start by being health conscious. Unless food is grown in greenhouses, "organic" alone doesn't protect from the elements.

        • MoonlightEmpire MoonlightEmpire

          Yes, but the greenhouses are just as bad. For instance, excluding ALL other factors, where does the water come from that waters the plants? Greenhouses–massive or tiny–still need to import water. That water may come from the owner's well (most likely through an un-filtered hose) which may be contaminated with any number of man-made chemicals (the tap water at my mother's house in NJ goes through an Arsenic filter…think it gets all of it, or any other baddies?). Otherwise the water may come from cisterns on the owner's property, which are being filled by rain, and we all know how fallout works (and that rain is often first landing on rooftops made of tar and other baddy chemicals). Or maybe the owner has city water pumped in for the greenshouse…in which case I think most people can see the problems. Otherwise, how many greenhouses are watering their crops with imported glacier water, and how much do you think a piece of lettuce would cost?

          There was a vid on here of a Japanese man studying controlled bio-concentration in rice. Rice watered with 1bq/L of (caesium?) yielded in some cases 500bq/kg in the plant. That's with 1bq/L!

          Any greenhouses you know of that test their water for ANY radioactive elements? I've spoken to A LOT of farmers/gardeners over the past 2.5 years here in NJ. NONE of them know about Fuku. NONE of them have ever tested for radionuclides.

          See any lables on products that say "tested for radio…"?

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    well here's Buesseler. Like many thoughtful scientists, he looks like a really nice, righteous sort of fellow. Why doesnt someone write or call him and get down to the real truth?

    Ken Buesseler

    Senior Scientist
    Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry

    Office Phone: +1 508 289 2309

    Fax: +1 508 457 2193

    WHOI Mailing Address:

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    266 Woods Hole Rd.
    MS# 25
    Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    They better find a fix …nuclear is ruining our earth.

  • Jebus Jebus

    I read somewhere once that the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident contaminated a vast area with 90Sr.
    I wonder if studies were done that shows what happens when you do that…

  • Gasser Gasser

    Some Strontium time soon, Ad's you will see in the news papers and internet.

    Shipyard pipe fitter rebuilders needed; free transportation, food, housing, medical …300K annual pay.

    Big Ship Water Pump Rebuilders INC; many openings available…salary starts @ 500K.

    Joe's Bilge Steam Cleaning Service has a worker shortage; will pay top salary and provide housing and retirement benefits.

    Huge Ship Dismantlers INC is in need of workers, apply now at pier 86, we will cover transportation, Hotel and meal cost from anywhere on the Globe.

    BP is in desperate need for oil rig scuba divers world wide…name your annual $alary…first year paid in advance.

    Honolulu Dredging INC is in dire need for a work force…offering free Ocean front Condo housing with Limo transportation to work and back.

    US Navy now has a huge opening for Sailors; starting pay 500K-10000K retire in just ten years with full benefits plus 100K yearly retirement pay.

    US Coast Guard is in need of Buoy installers, inspectors, and repairmen offering huge salary and retirement benefits.

    You can see where this is going, just to name a few.

    ~Live happily fast now die glowing later~

  • jackassrig

    Thanks for the link to Strontium. I like the older articles. I don't normally read anything after about 1965.

  • Sickputer

    Saying cesium goes in and out of your body like salts makes me want to paraphase the old running Dan Akroyd joke on Saturday Night Live: "Jane, you ignorant slut".

    Cesium remains much longer than Buesseler glibly avers.
    Cesium also leaves damaging internal effects as evidenced by previous disasters in which the chelating agent Prussian Blue was administered to save the lives of contaminated victims as in the 1987 incident in Goiânia, Brazil.

    Experiments on "volunteers" contaminated with radioactive C-137 also showed while Prussian Blue is a good medical protocol to counter cesium contamination, it is not capable of reversing the danaging internal effects of the poisonous cesium.

    A PB's manufacturer report:

    Prussian blue insoluble is administered to decrease radiation exposure. It does not treat the complications of radiation exposure. Patients contaminated with high doses of 137Cs may develop radiation toxicity including bone marrow suppression with severe neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. Supportive treatment for radiation toxicity symptoms should be given concomitantly with Prussian blue insoluble treatment."

    SP: With thrombocytopenia you bruise and bleed from the rectum and brain (sometimes fatally). Neutropenia means cesium destroys most of your white blood cells that fight off infections, particularly those cause infections, particularly those caused by bacteria and fungi.

    Got that…

  • Jebus Jebus

    Whats in a name?

    Time for Japan to take control of the Fukushima disaster

    The time has come for the government and the regulator to actually step up and take responsibility for what is happening at Fukushima. Greenpeace is calling for the government and the NRA to urgently prioritise efforts to bring the Fukushima accident finally under control.

    It's time for the wellbeing of the Japanese people and their wish to move beyond nuclear energy to be honoured and put ahead of the demands of the nuclear industry. It's two and a half years overdue.

    It's really just a name…

    We were warned!

    Sustainable energy comes free, from the sun…

    this is all i have, i'm out…

  • PragmaticBeliever

    Still reading "leak"…

    Apart from the catastrophe that awaits all of you in the west coast of USA , I just can´t figure how "400 TONS" of water a day could be called a LEAK…

    And sooner or later you´ll have and atom or two (or a thousand) of radioactive strontium or cesium. It works like that….

    Good luck to all of us.

  • jec jec

    Anyone able to compare 400 Tons to an amount (like the flow of a well known river or ???)??? The way the numbers and amounts are thrown out, its like an 'okay' figure for a leak….Just saying..

    • They are pulling that number out of the air, just like a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

      It means nothing, and says nothing.

      All rivers north of Tokyo are pouring radiation filled sediment and water into the Pacific from Japan. How much water is that?

      Rain water washes off the site into the ocean..

      Pictures show a constant flow of water through a covered pipe directly into the ocean on one side of the Fuku plant. What's in that water?

      Then you have the leaks from the basements.

      Then you have the water going directly past coriums underground.

      How much water is that, and what is in it?

      ANYONE can guess.. but it is definitely in the millions of gallons per day or more.

      Fukushima Leaking 400 Tons of Radioactive Water Into Ocean Plume DAILY; via @AGreenRoad