Day 418 Still a ray of hope for Japan?

“Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your

    parents, it was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors.

We borrow it from our Children.”

Ancient Native American Indian Proverb

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Novelist, Buddhist nun Setouchi joins anti-nuclear hunger strike

TOKYO, May 2, Kyodo

Novelist and Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi joined a hunger strike Wednesday in front of the industry ministry in Tokyo in protest against the government’s moves to restart idled reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.

Setouchi, 89, together with writers Hisae Sawachi, 81, and Satoshi Kamata, 73, plans to stage her hunger strike, which is being conducted by a civic group, until sunset.

Pinning a band with the message ”no to reactivation” to her nun’s habit, Setouchi said Japan is in as bad a state as she has known in her almost 90 years of life, adding, ”I can’t hand over the current Japan to the younger generation.”

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Japan tsunami debris moves towards US and Canada

Wreckage including lumber, footballs, parts of roofs and factories, and even bikes will soon start coming ashore in North America

Wreckage from Japan‘s tsunami – fishing gear and furniture, footballs and ships – has swept across the Pacific far faster than expected, with thousands of tonnes projected to land on North American shores this year.

Scientists believe lighter objects such as buoys and oil drums began reaching land last November or December. The rest is spread over thousands of miles of ocean between the Midway atoll and the northern islands ofHawaii.

About 95% will probably never come ashore and is destined for that massive swirl of floating plastic known as the north Pacific garbage patch. The remaining fraction is due to reach the west coast of the US andCanada in October.


The tsunami swept as much debris into the ocean in one day as is usually dumped in a year, threatening wildlife and the Pacific’s ecology, conservationists said. Coral is smothered by plastic, fish get trapped in drifting nets. Birds die from eating plastic.

“It is clearly already an ocean problem. We know that all of these hundreds of tonnes of debris are in the ocean. We know that actually all of the plastic debris contains a lot of toxins, and we know there are other types of toxins that would have got into the ocean from the tsunami and so all of this debris represents a hazard to navigation and a terrible distress to the ocean ecosystem,” said Mary Crowley, founder of the Ocean Voyages Institute, which will also be leading an expedition.

Read the entire article at:

(h/t EX-SKF)

His/her comments after the article at:

80% of radioactive materials dispersed into the atmosphere from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant went to the Pacific Ocean, according to the experts. No one exactly knows when the leak of highly contaminated water from the plant (near Reactor 2 water intake) started, though it is most likely after March 21, 2011 when there was a sudden jump in radioactivity in seawater at the plant. NOAA seems to account for the latter in their talking points but not the former, which may turn out to be bigger than the latter in terms of the total amount of radioactive materials.

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From ENENEWS at:

NYTimes: Radiation in “small doses could actually be disproportionately worse” says report — “Doses spread out over time might be more dangerous than doses given all at once” — Renewed importance after Fukushima

Title: The Low-Level Radiation Puzzle
Date: May 2, 2012, 10:34 am

[In the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May-June issue Dr. Jan Beyea, an environmental scientist who has opposed nuclear reactors
for decades and worked on epidemiological studies at Three Mile Island,] challenges a concept adopted by American safety regulators about small doses of radiation. The prevailing theory is that the relationship between dose and effect is linear – that is, that if a big dose is bad for you, half that dose is half that bad […]

Some radiation professionals disagree, arguing that there is no reason to protect against supposed effects that cannot be measured. But Dr. Beyea contends that small doses could actually be disproportionately worse.

Radiation experts have formed a consensus that if a given dose of radiation delivered over a short period poses a given hazard, that hazard will be smaller if the dose is spread out. To use an imprecise analogy, if swallowing an entire bottle of aspirin at one sitting could kill you, consuming it over a few days might merely make you sick. […]

Dr. Beyea, however, proposes that doses spread out over time might be more dangerous than doses given all at once. He suggests two reasons: first, some effects may result from genetic damage that manifests itself only after several generations of cells have been exposed, and, second, a “bystander effect,” in which a cell absorbs radiation and seems unhurt but communicates damage to a neighboring cell, which can lead to cancer. […]

Renewed Importance

The subject of low-dose radiation […] has assumed renewed importance since the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan in March 2011. The accident contaminated the surrounding area, and questions persist about whether residents should be allowed to return or whether the radiation doses they would receive are too big a threat to their health.

Read the report here



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