The Lost News: Nuclear runoff and millions of dead fish

I have a long history with the people that know me, of harping on and on and on about how there’s this severely unbalanced attitude towards what constitutes news.

_51586539_jex_979932_de27-1It’s one of the reasons I do things like share news of scientific interest here on my page under the “Knowledge Bomb” tagline/category/what-have-you and on my Facebook and G+ pages I like to share socially relevant news, labour issues I see, human interest pieces, political analysis of the rhetoric, etc, etc. All this of course accompanies the usual jibber-jabber I enjoy sharing like the funny stuff and my original fiction.

Today’s topic is a little more on the serious side after the whimsy of the other recent ones – I refer to the case of the insane sounding amount of fish that are popping up dead all over the world, in oceans, lakes, rivers, in thousands and thousands… and this is just in the past one month.

THIS SITE has a comprehensive list of the millions already dead and this is as the site points out, just reports and tally’s in the past month! Now tell me this is not stuff you as a human being, resident of the planet Earth think you deserve to know about!

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

This is what I keep saying – who gives a f*** about which movie star is going to jail or who-fashion-buggered-who, yet that gets constant airtime and this news plus the news that possibly a few HUNDRED TONNES of radioactive runoff have been leaking out since the tsunami and earthquake at Fukishima… and now there’s this latest news where according to Reuters:

Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an “emergency” that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters.

The utility pumps out some 400 tons a day of groundwater flowing from the hills above the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the basements of the destroyed buildings, which mixes with highly irradiated water that is used to cool the reactors in a stable state below 100 degrees Celsius.

Tepco is trying to prevent groundwater from reaching the plant by building a “bypass” but recent spikes of radioactive elements in sea water has prompted the utility to reverse months of denials and finally admit that tainted water is reaching the sea.

A view of the destroyed roof of the No.3 reactor building of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen in Fukushima prefecture February 20, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A view of the destroyed roof of the No.3 reactor building of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen in Fukushima prefecture February 20, 2012. REUTERS/Issei Kato

On the other side of the Pacific you have folks like Eric Norman (a nuclear engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley) making statements to the effect of:

“The Pacific Ocean is an enormous place,” said Norman, who found radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power in California rainwater, milk and plants soon after the earthquake and tsunami. “There’s a lot of material between us and Japan. No matter what happens in Fukushima, it’s not going to be a problem over here.”

And I get that. I get the scientific truth of that particular statement but are folks like him really trying to say that this is okay? That this kind of dumping of toxic and hazardous material – regardless of fault or accident – is acceptable because it’s diluted enough to not bother his people in the US? What about the people in and around Japan? On the Chinese coast? In Korea? Further down in South-east Asia? What about Hawa’ii even, smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

Maybe it’s just me, but this smacks of either utter ignorance of the bigger picture or a complete lack of interest in the well-being of anything but your own little bubble, your home and comfort zone. You feel bad for the outsider, but what can you do right?

Maybe this stuff shouldn’t get me riled up. Maybe I should stick to not being an eco-nut because I never really have been and that suits me fine. But I’m not ignorant of common sense either – something I think should be renamed given how uncommon it seems to be getting – and there is something very wrong with the modern world and I’m not just talking tonnes and tonnes of dead fish here.

This doesn’t end happy or optimistic, it’s too early in the week for that – for amusement and to take your mind off cruddy news like this, feel free to check out my humour posts and facebook page.

I’ll see you all again in a few. Cheers!

(via Reuters, Trueactivist)


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