Comparing Fukushima and Chernobyl concerning radionuclide distribution and Isotopic variations on Land and effects on the environment. New studies by Timothy Mousseu and his team.
Tim was interviewed and he gave us an overall look at the situation and compares the 2 nuclear disasters for us. Link to Timothy Mousseau cricket.biol.sc.edu/Mousseau/Mousseau.html
Link to podcast here;
Strontium and Plutonium isotopes
“Most of the those other isotopes in are very small quantities relative to the cesium that were released – that were very different to the Chernobyl situation where huge quantities of Strontium, about equal Cesium and Strontium were released along with several isotopes of of Plutonium, The Plutonium is in the process of decaying into Americium and (that) is more radioactive than Plutonium apparent”
Strontium in Fukushima Prefecture
In Japan the the Strontium were not volatilized as did Cesium and Iodine and it did not travel far (on Land) but large quantities of Strontium are still being released by the ground water at the plant and and from the cooling water leaking into the ocean.
Contamination of the Nursery areas in the deep ocean and off the coast of Japan?
On the 4th February 2016 a Press conference was held in the Foreign Correspondents Club in Japan calling for more research funding to be done concerning the Human health effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and we find a similar problem faced by epidemiologists and researchers to the lack of interest and therefore funding in this area. During the interview with Timothy we touched on research funding issues in a variety of areas relevant to the nuclear disaster including the aquatic environment. (Some other issues to do with marine contamination here http://www.opednews.com/articles/Off-shore-nuclear-waste-du-by-Shaun-McGee-Earthquake_Earthquake-Faults_Iaea_Information-140712-441.html )
Timothy responded to a question put to him saying that only some studies have been done (to his knowledge) on the bottom feeding fish and that these fish had been found to contain high contamination but that very few other studies have been done. He went on to say;
“surveillance work to determine whether fish can be consumed rather than the biological impacts (and) ecological impacts of the fish themselves, this is one of the important questions and that is one of the interests we have as a group.”
He went on to say that the issues for the authorities are that;
“Whether or not —“ The fish are below regulatory limits for export, that is the main – you know- economic driver of interest but the biological drive is almost nil as far as I can tell”
Terrestrial (land) contamination issues on wildlife, plant and micro–organisms
Of the limited research happening in this area, Tim and his team are at the forefront in developing novel and creative ways to ascertain the effects from the nuclear disaster. Using their experience gleaned from the radiological affected areas of Chernobyl (with the help of Anders Pape Møller, CNRS, University of Paris-Sud) and applying this invaluable experience on the highly affected areas on the mountain sides and hills surrounding the Fukushima city to the coastal areas including Namie and IItate areas of Fukushima and some less contaminated areas for comparison studies.
These studies have resulted in some 8 to 9 primary papers on birds and Insects. Also, new research on Rodents is about to be released and cameras have been set up in various locations studying large mammals such as pigs and monkeys.
Oze National Park in southern Fukushima Prefecture and Northern Chiba Prefecture (north of Tokyo)
On the search for clean areas for comparison studies, Tim said that he was disappointed. He looked at the huge and remote Oze national Park as a possible location (largely situated in the Chiba Prefecture but his radiation readings were more than 10 times normal at 0.5 mcSv/h (compared to the contaminated research area with 30 – 40 and 50 mcSv/h in the hills surrounding Fukushima City.
We talked about the effects of sediment transfer from the mountains down through the lakes and forests of Oze Park. Tim then mentioned a Typhoon he witnessed that stripped large areas of soil into the rivers and was concerned of the effects in the extensive lake system in Oze Park and the result of contamination making its way to the river outflows on the coast and effects on the fisheries. Asked as to whether any studies were being done he said that in the last year (some 5 years after the nuclear accident) many geologists from around the world were vying for funding to commence studies in “the next year or two” studying such issues but presently;
“I don`t know of any studies being done” he said
The issue of funding was mentioned here and that the Japanese government seemed only interested in funding studies for issues around food and health issues – link to issues around health studies being grossly limited here
(courtesy of FFCJ www.youtube.com/watch?v=e58yF8zZQ9w )
Only a handful of scientists can afford to do these studies he went on to say. And I mentioned that TEPCO owned the larger share of this National Park. (Some findings concerning the issues and info on Oze National Park here www.opednews.com/articles/Does-Tepco-ow… )
Discussing the pros and cons of the peer review process
He said that it is always a constant battle
“.. and I suppose its a really positive aspect of the peer review process”
On the pitfalls of the process he mentioned that for some decades finding sufficiently knowledgeable and open minded reviewers to consider “creative studies” is difficult. He went onto say that he and his colleagues have managed to submit and have accepted some 80 papers in the last ten years concerning Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Funding issues for research and analysis
Here we discussed Ken Buesslers citizen crowd funding campaign for testing water off the west coast USA.
Tim noted that his costs come to some hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and that Kens study was very limited due to the cost of transportation of samples and costs for sampling etc. Kens was limited by the lack of funding raised concerning this campaign and pointed out that the costs are not fully covered by the monies raised.
“its a limited effort and doesn’t in any way provide the level of info to address the bigger question but, that said, he has done a fabulous job with what he has got to do it”
I then asked Tim if such a scheme might be implemented in Japan, he said
“You don’t want the middle schoolers collecting radioactive dirt do you?”
Also, getting permission to work in these contaminated areas is difficult and only open to professional research activities.
The new Japanese Secrets Law brought in at the end of 2013
On this he said that (aside form legal issues) there is “a lot of self censorship in Japan to do with this disaster”
But he said that locals in Fukshima Prefecture have been incredibly helpful giving food, financial support and property for laboratory analysis.
“There is an insidious form of censorship going on that most people are not tuned into and that’s the fact that if you don’t fund science – the resources for research – it doesn’t get done and (by) consequence questions are not asked and certainly not answered”
Lack of funding is the biggest form of censorship with this disaster.
He went on to say that on funding issues;
“I haven`t had much luck with some of the conventional (funding) sources”
Chernobyl, new mice study
Last week Tim said he produced a study showing heightened prevalence of cataracts in the eyes of mice.
and that this was corroborated with an earlier study on birds.
Finding clues and evidence on previous relevant biosphere studies to date
A meta analysis is being done on previous studies looking into plant, animals and bacteria are adapting or evolving, on some level or other. Looking at all the evidence (including the issue of high U.V. radiation found on earth millions of years ago). His conclusions seem to point to the facts that the evolutionary response was “actually negative” and this report should be out in about a month. His earlier study on birds with Black pigment showed that some resilience in a small amount of bird species was due to them using antioxidants to protect from genetic damage but at some cost. This might limit the lower antioxidant levels left in these birds might cause problems for them to find mates and deal with environmental changes (such as climate change)
“Organisms can use these antioxidants to the mutational load OR use it to advertise to a mate or defend itself against some other diseases but there is this ultimate trade off that limits the success in one way or another”
Thermal regulation might be another factor due to this imbalance he said.
Chernobyl Heart – Fukushima heart?
We discussed pin holes found in babies even today in the contaminated areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Tim said that it is recognized that there are well documented cardio vascular damage in the areas of contamination and that he would check out this problem in the near future using samples he has collected already. (A previous article I have looked at some statistics and posits on this www.opednews.com/articles/The-manipulat…)
Issues on the decontamination and Top soil removal
We also discussed the issues of the damage to the environment by removing the living soil around houses and roads to reduce the Geiger readings (dose). Tim also said that only limited top soil is removed and
“.. a superficial attempt to provide this appearance of reduced contamination but it is not a solution to the area”
He went onto point out that the leaves and branches that fall will eventually cover these areas that are cleaned and a radioactive build up will re occur over time. He is running similar test into the issue found in Chernobyl with micro organisms not surviving and causing forest debris to build up (and causing wildfires etc). He is not sure if the levels and isotopic types found in Fukushima are going to cause the same problem that was found in Chernobyl but that he would know when an experiment he is running is concluded in the next few months or so.