Phoebe Sorgen 
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Re: “Fukushima Panic

This is very similar to the one proposed in Berkeley, which will be considered Tue night Dec 17, with a lot of the same wording.

Adopted by UNANIMOUS consent this week!


Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear reactors...continue to pose a grave risk to people and the environment around the world, including the US...:

this radioactive contamination, including long lasting cesium, will be carried by the jet stream and spread by ocean currents to all parts of the world, adversely affecting marine life as well as human populations, and much greater contamination is likely....;

a meltdown in a spent fuel pool would release unprecedented amounts of radioactivity into the global atmosphere;

this disaster presents one of the gravest threats and greatest technological challenges facing the international community, and as such demands an international response utilizing the world's most accomplished experts as well as international funding on a level commensurate with humankind’s most ambitious efforts, in the interest of every nation;

...Mishaps at the site are ongoing and pose a growing threat not only to the Japanese, but to all Pacific nations, including the western coast of the United States....

72 organizations, joined by Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University Nuclear Reactor Research Institute, former U.N. diplomat Akio Matsumura, former senior adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Robert Alvarez, have requested that the U.N. organize an independent assessment team and international assistance, stating that it is “imperative for the Japanese government and the international community to work together on this crisis before it becomes too late. We are appealing to the U.N. to help Japan and the planet in order to prevent the irreversible consequences of a catastrophe that could affect generations to come;”

the American Medical Association, California chapter, by formal resolution, has called for the United States government to continue to monitor and fully report the radioactivity levels of edible ocean species sold in the United States. (Res. 414, A-13);......

RESOLVED that the Council of Fairfax urges the UN to:

1. Appoint on an emergency basis an International Independent Commission of Experts (IICE) charged with formulating a plan to reduce, to every extent possible, releases of Fukushima Daiichi radiation into the atmosphere and the ocean, drawing personnel from universities, national research laboratories, other public institutions and nonprofit NGO's in order to avoid conflicts of interest and to ensure adherence to the purpose of the IICE,;

2. Empower the IICE, with the intention of accurately assessing risks and formulating viable solutions, to investigate the site with the cooperation of the Government of Japan,including full access to the site, to relevant government documents and staff, and to personnel and documents of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the site;

3. Direct the IICE to publicize a report within ninety (90) days with a risk-based strategic plan that addresses all existing and emergent problems with a minimum mandate of preventing the abandonment of the site, and the ultimate goal of minimizing public health risks;

4. Further direct the IICE to continue monitoring, and to publicize regular and accurate progress reports, as well as public health alerts as needed, working with Japan and with the public in an independent and transparent process;

and urges that the Food & Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, US Agricultural Dept, the Federal Trade Commission and other responsible agencies begin a periodic collection and reporting of radioactivity levels in edible ocean species and that the results of such surveys be published on a public website for consumer information and education with resources and technological assistance immediately available.

Copies of the Resolution will be sent to the U.N. General Assembly, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, President Barack Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Jared Huffman, and Governor Jerry Brown.

(abridged here, obviously)

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Phoebe Sorgen on 12/06/2013 at 7:40 PM

Re: “Fukushima Panic

I appreciate the East Bay Express covering this issue and that the article opened with Cynthia Papermaster's cautious "heads up." May I suggest that a follow-up article quote experts who are concerned about Fukushima Daiichi, as well as activists.

It can be psychologically difficult to face the enormity of this unprecedented challenge. There is a common tendency to turn away or put one's head in denial sand, especially, perhaps, if one is affiliated with the nuclear industry. When assessing statement accuracy, readers might consider incentives. "Follow the money." Other than a desire to err on the side of caution, activists and whistleblowers have no incentive to exaggerate the problem. On the contrary, there are many other important issues we could be tackling if this issue were resolved.

Japan is on the cusp of passing a secrecy law. Truth-tellers could be imprisoned for 10 years. Fortunately, there have been truth-tellers, including some insiders such as former Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Dr. Sebastian Pflugbeil, Pres. German Society for Radiation Protection, former medical physicist National Institute for Cardiovascular Research, Academy of Sciences of the GDR wrote “Fukushima: The probability of success is zero.” He does not believe the human race could become extinct from another disaster there, but he is very pessimistic about bringing the "increasingly critical" situation under control. "The danger posed is enormous. All the experts agree…. worst-case scenario…Tokyo would be completely evacuated… The consequences would affect the entire northern hemisphere… The IAEA and WHO should protect the people but are almost exclusively in the service of the nuclear industry.” The ground there is unstable. The buildings are cracked. The fuel must be kept cool (and three lost coriums.) Currently in process, removing damaged fuel rods from unit 4 is treacherous. There is no master plan.

In Aug, the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority said the cascading series of radioactive water leaks from the Fukushima plant approaches a worst case scenario. There are nearly 1000 shabbily constructed tanks holding highly radioactive water, accumulating at a daily rate of 105,000 gallons, in one of the planet's most highly active seismic zones. Per The Wall Street Journal, Chair of the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority Shunichi Tanaka said the situation was alarming. "We cannot waste even a minute. This is what we have been fearing."
Atsunao Marui, director of research at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, said, "It's important to think of the worst-case scenario."

There is extensive documentation that ocean currents bring Japanese radiation to the west coast of North America and that, rather than adequate ocean dilution, there can be pockets and streams of highly-concentrated radiation.
J. F. Lübbecke of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab and three scientists from the GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences used tracer dye to show that the west coast here could end up with ten times more radioactive cesium 137 than the coastal waters off Japan in 2021. With a half-life of 30 years, it will remain dangerous until the year 2311.

"It has been found that radioactivity may be concentrated in this manner by as much as a thousand fold. Thus, for example, one gram of plankton could contain a thousand times as much radioactivity as a gram of water adjacent to it. The radioactivity from these plankton which form a portion of fish diet tends to concentrate in the liver of the fish," from "The Bioaccumulation of contamination in plankton" on page 60 of the "Evaluation of Radioactive Fall-Out" extract prepared for Director Defense Nuclear Energy, USA 1981.

I wish we could trust those who say there is no problem. But hiding our heads in the sand will not get the risks mitigated. Fortunately, there are many courageous people who tirelessly seek the truth and research solutions together. Ostriches, come on out and join us Fukushima Response songbirds! Joan Baez was correct that the antidote to despair (and fear) is action. On Tues night Dec. 17, the Berkeley City Council will consider a Fukushima Resolution. Please lobby for it now, and prepare a one minute statement to read during public comment that night and/or a sign to hold up.

22 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Phoebe Sorgen on 12/05/2013 at 3:36 AM

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