Title: State Health Dept. Monitoring Shoreline For Radioactive Waste
Source: KITV Honolulu
Author: Catherine Cruz KITV4 News Reporter
Date: 11:17 am HST February 2, 2012
[...] Long-time Laie resident Telefoni Aumua was surprised to learn that the state health department was testing for radioactive material along Hukilau Beach Wednesday.
“I am really concerned. I have family who always come here. We fish here” [...]
Environmental specialists with the state’s radiological health division made five stops on Oahu’s north shore [...]
It is something that’s been quietly under way for the past year here and on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.
“The EPA, NOAA, the state’s department of health radiation section and the clean water branch are all working together so that when the debris comes up on our shores, we can tell what type of hazard it is and how to clean it up,” said state environmental specialist Geoffrey Lau. [...]
The survey involves taking two samples at each spot, at waist height as well as at ground level. [...]
Radioactive Assumptions (See footnotes below)
Lau believes the likelihood of any radioactive tsunami trash is very low. The debris washed out into the ocean before the problems with the nuclear reactor¹ and most of the heavy items have sunk².
“At this moment in time we don’t expect any of the debris to be radioactive. When NOAA has been conducting their surveys out in the ocean³, they have not detected anything radioactive either,” said Lau.
Watch the video here
1) As evidence that the probability of radioactive debris washing up in Hawaii is “very low”, Lau said, “The debris washed out into the ocean before the problems with the nuclear reactor.” How does this exclude the debris from being contaminated with radioactivity? If the debris was floating near the surface several kilometers offshore and a radiation plume went over the Pacific, would the debris not encounter airborne radioactivity, as well as possible rainfall containing radioactivity?
2) As evidence that the probability of radioactive debris washing up in Hawaii is “very low”, Lau said, “Most of the heavy items have sunk.” Though we don’t really need to be concerned with heavy items do we, as they aren’t going to float across the Pacific Ocean. They’ll likely sink — It is the floating items that should be the focus. See #1 above.
3) It is not surprising NOAA isn’t detecting radioactive debris, as they already assumed in Dec. 2011, “There is consensus among scientists that radioactive contamination is highly unlikely, for several reasons: a) the tsunami generated debris over a long stretch of shoreline, mostly located many miles away from the Fukushima power plant, and b) the debris washed out to sea before the release of radioactive water. [See 1 above]
Published: February 9th, 2012 at 12:03 am ET