Island of Japanese Debris the Size of California to Hit West Coast of North America

Giant Island of Debris from Japan Is On Its Way

As the CBC notes, an island of debris the size of California is expected to hit North America:

See this for background.

Some of the debris could be radioactive. As the Star notes:

[Seattle oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer] says he’s concerned that some of the debris washing ashore on Pacific Northwest beaches could be contaminated by radioactive material, suggesting Tofino should have at least one Geiger counter to measure radioactivity.

Ebbesmeyer told AFP:

We are not prepared for this. Nobody is prepared. Nobody has even thought through the dimensions. This is unprecedented in scientific history. It’s unprecedented in recorded history. There’s never been a devastation on one continent that has moved off to the other continent and actually recorded.

And AFP reports, “Scientists like Ebbesmeyer say the debris could bring toxic or radioactive contamination from Japan all the way here.”

Are Fish and Seals Being Irradiated?

In potentially related news, Reuters reports that Alaskan seals are suffering mysterious lesions and hair loss:

Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats.


“We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity,” said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor’s damage,” he said.

Here’s a picture of one of the injured seals:

(Reuters originally ran the picture as well, but has since replaced it with a more generic picture.)

Does that mean that we should be worried about eating West Coast fish? It’s impossible to know, since the FDA refuses to test fish for radioactivity.

As I noted last week:

American and Canadian authorities have virtually stopped monitoring airborn radiation, and are not testing fish for radiation. (Indeed, the EPA reacted to Fukushima by raising “acceptable” radiation levels.)

So – as in Japan – radiation is usually discovered by citizens and the handful of research scientists with funding to check, and not the government. See this, this, this, this, this and this.

The Japanese government’s entire strategy from day one has been to cover up the severity of the Fukushima accident. This has likely led to unnecessary, additional deaths.

Indeed, the core problem is that all of the world’s nuclear agencies are wholly captured by the nuclear industry … as are virtually all of the supposedly independent health agencies.

So the failure of the American, Canadian and other governments to test for and share results is making it difficult to hold an open scientific debate about what is happening.

No wonder nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen suggests that we contact our representatives and demand measurement.

Note 1: In terms of the debris, people should not worry that all of the debris is radioactive. I am sure that a much smaller percentage is.

However, if even one-half of one percent of the debris is radioactive, that could still bring substantial amounts of radiation to some shore areas on the West Coast of North America. In other words, people should keep their kids away from picking up debris on the beach unless it has first been tested with a geiger counter.

Note 2: In addition to radioactive debris, MIT says that seawater which is itself radioactive may begin hitting the West Coast within 5 years.

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  • creg

    How hard is it to test fish, shrimp, and crabs for radiation? It seems someone with a few dollars more than I could form a small group of independent testers who could approach various ports and sample some of the catches. Why hasn’t this happened? I mean surely someone else has thought these thoughts?

    • signalfire

      The next thought after ‘testing’ is, what will you and the other 7 billion people on the planet do when you find out that the entire ocean, as well as the rains falling on us and the air we breathe, is now lethally contaminated?

  • This article is as scandalous as it gets. It does nothing more than appeal to the radiophobic demographic. It’s bad enough that radiophobia has paralyzed Japan. Now, Reuters and the CBC want to paralyze North America? And for what? Advertizing revenue! Inciting panic over flotsam. Deplorable!

    • JoeyTurner

      “It’s bad enough that radiophobia has paralyzed Japan.”

      Millions of people coping with a nuclear nightmare in Japan, unable to return to their homes, unable to fish the water, unable to eat the food, and you say it’s radiophobia? Unbelievable!

  • Javy

    Lol- radiophobic? Flotsam?

    Comments from people like Leslie are the reasons I’m very thankful for people like Washington’s Blog!

    2012. Only Truth shall set us free!

  • you don’t really think you can eat anything anymore, do you? everything we injest is tainted now, after fukashima. all activists that were and still are against nuclear power certainly are looking more and more right with every disaster! and then there is the monster monsanto, corrupting all foods.
    when will we say enough. no more nuclear. which wasn’t thuroughly studied before they began it!
    our governments just keep raising “acceptable levels.”
    are we going to think for ourselves? or let a corrupt system tell us what is good for us?