Canadian officials should take notice of Japanese regulator's comments about Fukushima water leaks

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      Canadian public-health officials have consistently downplayed any danger from the crippled Fukushima nuclear-power plant.

      This has occurred even after the Georgia Straight brought forward evidence earlier this year that radioactive water continues to leak from the facility.

      Adding fuel to the fire, a recent Reuters article posted on the Scientific American website includes a startling admission from the head of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority.

      Shunichi Tanaka told reporters that he believes "contamination of the sea had been continuing since the March 2011 catastrophe".

      "It was contaminated at the time of the accident, but I think it has been continuing for the last two years," Tanaka said, according to Reuters. "Coming up with countermeasures against all possible scenarios is a top priority."

      In addition, Reuters reported that the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the facility, "has acknowledged problems are mounting at the plant north of Tokyo".

      Straight contributor Alex Roslin reported last year that 56 percent of Japanese fish catches tested by the Japanese government were contaminated with cesium-137 and -134.

      This year, the Asahi Shumbun newspaper in Japan reported record levels of radiation in fish caught near the power plant, which was overwhelmed by a 2011 tsunami.

      According to Industry Canada's "Trade Data Online" website, Japan exported $16.15 million worth of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and other aquatic invertebrates to this country in 2012.

      Earlier this year, B.C. public-health official Eric Young told the Tyee: "I would eat fish from Japan, absolutely."

      In the past, Canadian government officials have adopted a "shoot the messenger" approach when the Straight has brought the radiation issue to the public's attention.

      Nobody should expect that to change, even as a top Japanese regulator fears that radioactive water continues spewing into the Pacific Ocean.




      Jul 13, 2013 at 10:55pm

      and we are worried about a potential (a very small potential) oil slick when there is radioactive water floating around. Give me oil over nuclear any day.

      green dog

      Jul 14, 2013 at 6:17am

      There is more information on the situation at Fukushima on the web; here are two examples:

      I would extend the above comment: there is far more concern expressed over fossil fuels and global warming than over the nuclear energy industry, yet the potential for major radiactive contamination is a reality. There is no solution to deal with nuclear waste. It is unavoidable, has a lifetime on the order of the age of the planet, and has the potential to destroy life. It is an unsolved and possibly unsolveable problem that our civilization leaves to the future. The damaged spent fuel pools at Fukushima are a syptom of a larger issue.

      G Fring

      Jul 14, 2013 at 11:45am

      Apparently we're all inhaling radiation at work/home coming from right underneath our feet; natural decomposition of uranium. Most places not at dangerous levels or radon but still cumulative.

      J Young

      Jul 14, 2013 at 2:12pm

      The world needs energy to support the population and the wonderful toys we have. I don't see anybody putting any more fossil fuel in the ground. What has been happening in Japan is shameful. We need to design better reactors and the Japanese need to wake up to what is happening to them.


      Jul 14, 2013 at 2:40pm

      The ultimate green aim is nuclear, it's just that most of the anti oil and NG people don't realize it yet. So, here's the plan: build nuclear reactors all along the Canada/US border because that's where the population is. The US will thank us because big tar will no longer be a threat. The lower mainland will be served by a plant on the UBC endowment lands as a beacon to the tireless efforts of residents who destroyed once and for all the life threatening oil, NG, and coal industry. There will be so many new jobs that the old industries will not be missed (btw NG is BC's largest single source of revenue - that might be a biitch when it comes time to pay for health care, teachers etc. But, never mind, the tourist industry will expand with bike paths throughout the province - and they won't be paved with dirty petroleum products or painted toxic green with pet. paint and there will be a law that only wool, cotton and linen clothes will be allowed in the province - no more of that synthetic, rain resistant gear and, sorry, umbrellas will have to go too and .....)Wait, you say that the plants should be placed up North, out of sight. Well, that's just plain unfair and hypocritical.


      Jul 17, 2013 at 4:47am

      Those are not "leaks". A leak implies a measure of control. This Mega-Disaster has continued since 3/11/11 uncontrolled.

      Quote from Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog:
      "The proponents of the alleged benefits or at minimum, allegedly harmless, effects of the nuclear disaster of Fukushima Diiachi are, in their protests to contrary of the above facts, not reporting that which has been known since at least 1928. Albeit, significant proportions of the knowledge created by A.E. Longley at the behest of the US Military, in relation to fallout effects on corn, was classified secret in 1950 and only declassified and made available to the public in 1997.

      It is quite useless for world nuclear advocates to shout shrill insulting names at people in Japan who have personally been observing unusual deformities in fruit, vegetable and other crops and insects since at July 2011, effects the like of which had not been seen in Japan since August 1945.

      For all their public over politeness, such advocates for the alleged benefits of human released fission products are actually very cruel people. "

      Muller’s Nobel lecture , December 12, 1946 “The Production of Mutations”