Sunday, April 17, 2011

Radiation Exposure Levels Going Up Everywhere - "Radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors, the situation is not stable at all, radiation continues to leak. We are looking at a ticking timebomb. It appears stable but the slightest disturbance, a secondary earthquake, a pipe break, evacuation of the crew at Fukishima could set off a full scale melt down at three nuclear power stations – far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl.”
Aftershocks rattling Japan after the nation’s record quake on March 11 may continue for at least six months, increasing the risk of damage to the crippled nuclear plant at the center of the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. “Aftershocks as big as magnitude-7 are likely to continue hitting in eastern and northern Japan for at least six months,” said Teruyuki Kato, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute. This is the main scientist to listen to. Radioactive contamination from the Fukushima power plant has been carried around the world and far out to sea and if current estimates and the situation do not worsen we already will have 10 percent of Chernobyl’s radiation spreading around the globe and it looks like each and every month we will see another 10 percent of another Chernobyl’s worth of radiation released to contaminate the world further. Dr. Kaku says his family is already leaving Tokyo because they don’t believe the statements of the Japanese utility because they have consistently low-balled the dangers, as has everyone else.
Another physicist says there is a rage in the people in Tokyo and he now predicts based on his calculations that 800,000 people out of about 8 million who live within 200 kilomters of the plant will contract cancer if they are not moved out. Dr. Kaku still advises entombment in a giant slab of concrete, with 5000 tons of cement, sand and boric acid but if that ever happens it will be months away and take a huge effort that would take many more months. “Tepco utility people are outclassed and overwhelmed and should be removed from their positions. They are “making it up as they go along. We will see increases in leukemias and thyroid cancers from the massive amounts of radioactive iodine being released.” The operator of Japan’s tsunami-flooded nuclear power complex was seeking ways Thursday to pull damaged spent fuel rods out of a storage pool at one of its reactors, citing surging radiation and elevated temperatures as worrisome signs.
With each passing week the words “safe”, “low levels”, “not harmful” will all lose their meaning as the more massive amounts of radiation are released. Six months from now it will be a different world with several open fission processes happening in multiple reactors. “This accident has already released something on the order of 50,000 trillion becquerels of radiation. You do the math. That puts it right smack in the middle of a level 7 nuclear accident." NISA and Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) estimate that 370,000 – 630,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials have been released from Units 1, 2 and 3. One terabecquerel equals one trillion becquerels.
In the next month we will see a repeat or perhaps an intensification of the radiation being put out into the environment — as the melting nuclear materials continue to break through barriers. Radiation emitted will continue for an indeterminate period – at least months, maybe years — many, many years.
The Japanese government is making a fatal mistake leaving millions of citizens too close to the exposure of the badly leaking atomic plant. Their direction to just stay indoors is not an effective and certainly not a permanent way to avoid exposure. It is understandable why they would resist removing millions from their homes but in this case it is the only way to avoid exposure and resultant radiation sickness. How secure should we feel about the evolving situation? Dr. Kaku couldn’t make it any more frank when he said, “Fukushima is about as stable as “hanging by your fingernails off a cliff, and they’re beginning to break one by one.”
China’s Ministry of Health said on April 13, that radioactive isotope iodine-131 had been detected in various kinds of vegetables in 12 provincial regions. The radioactive isotope was found in spinach, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, Chinese cabbage and other vegetables in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Henan, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan.
After the radioactive cloud emanating from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant reached Europe in late March, CRIIRAD, a French research body on radioactivity, an NGO, said it had detected radioactive iodine-131 in rainwater in south-eastern France. In parallel testing, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the national public institution monitoring nuclear and radiological risks, found iodine 131 in milk. In normal times, no trace of iodine-131 should be detectable in rainwater or milk. Radiation monitors in Canada, in Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia have also detected radioactive iodine.
In the United States EPA data show rising levels of Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137 up to 300% of maximum limits. Hawaii milk samples showed radiation 800% above normal for Cesium-134, 633% for Cesium-137, and 600% for Iodine-131. Water contamination measured over 20 times acceptable levels. Mainland amounts are also rising, including in air, soil, grass, milk, spinach, strawberries, and other foods. Milk is especially important as it suggests the health of the entire food supply because cows eat grass. When grass is contaminated, so is everything grown in the same soil. At least 14 US cities reported unsafe radiation amounts in drinking water. However, the EPA is only testing for Iodine-131, not Cesium, Uranium or Plutonium, all of which were emitted from Fukushima. Several radiation monitoring stations throughout Spain have recorded increases in the concentration of iodine and cesium in the air coming from Japan. Same goes for France. A major cloud of radioactive Iodine 131 has recently passed over South Korea and is now passing just about everywhere else in the northern hemisphere.

**May we be fearless... from friends and enemies...
from known and unknown ... from night and day...
May all the directions be our allies.**
Atharva Veda

This morning -

Yesterday -
4/16/11 -

4/15/11 -

AUSTRALIA - Seismologists are warning north Queenslanders they could feel aftershocks for days, following yesterday's 5.4 magnitude earthquake. The quake, THE MOST POWERFUL IN THE STATE IN MORE THAN 70 YEARS, struck about 180km southeast of Townsville, 10km below the surface about 3.30pm (AEST).
It was felt as far away as the Whitsundays off the central coast of Queensland and in the state's capital Brisbane. There were no reports of damage or injury.
50 or more aftershocks have been recorded since. "We expect the small tremors to continue for days or even weeks,. People in the general vicinity may feel them, but they should not be alarmed because they'll be weaker and won't last as long as the quake." The largest of the aftershocks was a magnitude four at 5pm yesterday. It was followed by a magnitude 3.2 at 11pm and a 3.4 at 1.30am, all less than 50km off the coast. The tremors were too small to cause damage.
"A magnitude 3.2 or even a four is not expected to cause any damage, the shaking is a bit stronger and felt over a wider area but generally we don't expect damage until around magnitude 4.5. We can see the tremors are occurring but they are so small and minor that unless you are living basically on top of them, you wouldn't feel them at all." Yesterday's earthquake was the second in just over a month. A 4.0 magnitude quake was recorded 30km offshore from Innisfail, south of Cairns on March 15.

NEW ZEALAND - A central Christchurch building was being demolished after it was damaged further by a 5.3 magnitude aftershock yesterday, but early indications suggest the city has escaped significant new damage. The quake shook the battered city at 5.49pm yesterday and was followed overnight by a number smaller aftershocks, the largest of which measured 4.1 on the Richter scale. The aftershock was among the largest to hit the battered city since February 22's deadly 6.3 tremor. Some houses in the Lyttelton, Redcliffe, Mt Pleasant and Estuary Road areas were without water as repairs take place on 12 bursts water pipes. Work was underway to restore water to those properties. The 5.3 magnitude quake was centred within 5km of Lyttelton, 12km southeast of central Christchurch, at a depth of 11km. The Christchurch mayor siad the quake was "very severe" and felt like a bus being driven over a cattle stop. There were reports on Twitter of some liquefaction and rocks tumbled down the cliffs in Sumner. Scientists had been predicting a quake "around a 5 magnitude" for some time and this "was at the upper end of that". Sumner's supermarket looked like a war zone with smashed wine bottles strewn across the floor. But power was still on and the shop remained open. Rocks had fallen from the cliff onto the Sumner roads, but no one appeared injured. About 20,000 homes and businesses were without power.
Meanwhile Geoscience Australia also reported a 5.4 magnitude quake centred near Bowen in Queensland at 5.21pm yesterday. There were no initial reports of damage. The Christchurch quake struck just 28 minutes later. The city remains devastated following the previous quake, which claimed an estimated 181 lives. It followed a magnitude 7.1 quake last September 4.


PHILIPPINES - Experts warn of possible eruption at Taal volcano . Volcanologists Saturday warned of possible eruption at Taal volcano in the northern Philippines. The conclusion was based on "noticeable" increase in seismic activity from Taal volcano. The seismic network recorded 20 volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours. . Likewise, the bulletin said, water temperature at the Main Crater Lake slightly increased from 29.8 degrees Celsius to 30.1 degrees Celsius.
The alert status of Taal volcano was raised from Level 1 to Level 2 on April 9 with the interpretation that magma has been intruding toward the surface, as manifested by CO2 being released in the Main Crater Lake and increase in seismic activity.
The Phivolcs advises the public that the Main Crater and surrounding areas are strictly off-limits because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentration of toxic gas may accumulate. Breathing air with high concentration of gas can be lethal to human, animals and even cause damage to vegetation. However, the Phivolcs has no plan to raise the alert level for now.


Cyclone Errol lashing Western Australia coast - Communities across the northern tip of Western Australia are being battered by strong winds and heavy rains, as Tropical Cyclone Errol hovers off the coast. A Cyclone Warning is in place for coastal and island communities.


Tornadoes ripped across the US killing 22 - At least 22 people have been killed as a powerful storm whipped up tornadoes in its third day across parts of the southern, central and eastern United States. At least five people were killed as tornadoes left a trail of destruction in North Carolina, levelling homes and businesses and knocking out power. Seven people were killed in Alabama. The storm toppled trees and power lines, tore roofs off houses and scattered tractor-trailers across highways.
Two dozen tornadoes were reported in the southern states of Mississippi and Alabama on Friday, a day after 15 twisters struck in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. The storm was powerful enough to lift a double-width trailer into the air and toss it about 20 metres, killing a 65-year-old woman and critically injuring a 70-year-old man inside. Two other people were killed in Oklahoma when a major twister tore through Atoka County. "It's pretty extensive. There are several houses destroyed. The school is pretty much levelled and there's two confirmed dead." Another person was killed in Greene County, Mississippi.
Meanwhile, North Dakota struggled to contain near-record flooding of the Red River.


Drug-Resistant Staph Bacteria Found in Half the Meat, Poultry Nationwide - Almost half the meat and poultry sold in the United States is widely contaminated with drug-resistant strains of taphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that can cause serious illnesses in humans, a new study contends. The types of health problems linked to S. aureus range from mild skin infections to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, sepsis and heart infection.
In the new nationwide study, researchers analyzed 136 samples of 80 brands of beef, chicken, pork and turkey purchased at 26 retail stores in five cities: Chicago; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Los Angeles; and Washington, D.C. The results showed that 47 percent of the samples were contaminated with S. aureus, and that 52 percent of the bacteria were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics. DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination with S. aureus
"For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial. The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today." Current production methods may be to blame, the researchers said, explaining that food animals are crammed into industrial farms and continually fed a low dose of antibiotics. These are "ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans."
Exactly what this means in terms of consumer risk is still unclear, experts say. "Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat Staph infections; but when Staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotics - like we saw in this study - that leaves physicians few options." The report authors suggest that the U.S. government routinely survey retail meats and poultry for S. aureus. It already checks for four types of drug-resistant bacteria.
Staph bacteria can be killed through proper cooking but may still pose a health risk through improper food handling and cross-contamination in the kitchen. "These findings point to serious problems with the way food animals are raised in the U.S. today. It points directly to problems on the farm. The single most effective way to reduce antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food is to stop feeding millions of animals antibiotics."
A group representing the U.S. meat industry took issue with the findings. In a statement, the American Meat Institute Foundation said that the study's small sample size is "insufficient" to reach the conclusions put forth by the researchers. And the foundation said that, "while the study claims that the many of the bacteria found were antibiotic resistant, it does note that they are not heat resistant. These bacteria are destroyed through normal cooking procedures, which may account for the small percentage of foodborne illnesses linked to these bacteria."