Dead sea lions washing on shore in California appear to have died from radiation poisoning.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/039924_sea_lions_radiation_California.html#ixzz365h6VGch

(NaturalNews) Dead sea lions washing on shore in California appear to have died from radiation poisoning. An unusual surge of stranded dying and dead sea lions (seals) have littered Southern California beaches from Santa Barbara to San Diego since earlier this year. Most of the area newspapers and media outlets have been alarmingly reporting this unusual phenomenon.

It’s unusual because this is the season when sea lion pups flourish. Instead they’re struggling ashore in starved, emaciated conditions, if they’ve managed to stay alive. Scientists say almost half the sea lions born this past winter have died.

When they get too thin, they’re forced to go ashore for sun because they can’t stay warm in cool waters. All the concerned marine biology scientists are scratching their heads. Some have commented on how this sort of mortality rate is usually predictable according to atmospheric or oceanic conditions.

But there are none of the obvious tell-tale signs that could have predicted this high occurrence of seal pup mortality.

“They’re clearly not getting enough food,” said Victoria Harris, Interim Executive Director with the California Wildlife Center. Yet another scientist claims there are sufficient squid and sardine populations for them off the coast of California.

Scientists seem to be determined to get to the bottom of this marine life tragedy. “Marine mammals are sentinels of the eco system,” stated Victoria Harris, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).

The NOAA publicly announced that they considered radiation unlikely as the cause, but it wasn’t ruled out.

How radiation could be the primary causal event

Japanese marine scientists have announced extremely high radiation reading in sea water collected off Japan.

The New York Times article, “Fukushima’s Contamination Produces Some Surprises at Sea” published September 28, 2011 contained information from scientists about extremely high amounts of radioactive cesium 137.

The extremely high readings recorded at different times indicated that cesium 137 was rising, and at that time in 2011, more radioactive material was continuing to leak into the ocean.

That article registered concern over the high amounts of radioactive material, but claimed at that time the ocean was diluting the radiation levels low enough to prevent humans from being harmed directly.

Of course, California sea lions are a long way off from the Japan coast, but different currents and eddies could spread a continuing accumulation of radioactive contamination farther out into the ocean from Japan.

Even tuna caught off the California coast have been found with higher than normal traces of cesium 137 from the Fukushima disaster in May of 2012.

An unpublicized cause of death for seal pups is domoic acid, produced by toxic algae bloom. It causes seizure and death in California sea lions. Domoic acid is a neurotoxin produced by a few specific types of harmful algae blooms among the phytoplankton on the ocean’s surface.

Often this results in what’s been termed “Red Tide” that kills off lots of marine life.

Here’s where I’m going with this. Phytoplankton is easily corrupted. Although it’s involved with providing well over half the earth’s oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, excessive UV rays coming through ozone layer openings do damage them.

So now we have a 2011 report from researchers at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology which stated that Fukushima’s radioactive cessium 137 has contaminated ocean plankton. Plankton is the first food within the marine life food chain.

Professor Takashi Ishimaru, said the plankton were heavily contaminated because sea currents continuously carried contaminated water southward from the nuclear plant. There you have it. Radioactively contaminated plankton.

If it doesn’t produce a form of domoic acid from that damage, it goes up the food chain to larger fish and sea mammals. Remember that quote from earlier in this article: “Marine mammals are sentinels of the eco system.”

If not directly from radioactive contamination, which has not been ruled out since some Fukushima radioactive debris has washed ashore on the west coast, then the indirect consequences of radioactive plankton could be at the bottom of this seal pup tragedy.

Source:http://www.naturalnews.com/039924_sea_lions_radiation_California.html#ixzz35g3UxeUD

 

Sources for this article include:

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com

http://enenews.com

http://www.malibutimes.com

http://www.elephantseal.org/Marine-mammals/sealion.htm

http://enenews.com

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com

http://www.see-the-sea.org/topics/pollution/air/AirPol-body.htm

http://education.nationalgeographic.com

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New Mexican Nuclear Facility Leak No Threat to Human Health

Why Don’t I have a good feeling about this? Ever notice the ones that declare an area safe never live there, Just A thought??

Posted: 03/27/2014 2:50 pm EDT Updated: 03/27/2014 2:59 pm EDT

March 11 was the third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear incident, where cleanup efforts to contain radioactive contamination continue. In a reminder that such problems are not limited to Japan but a worldwide concern, on February 14 the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant facility near Carlsbad, New Mexico, admitted that their first radiation leak in 15 years exposed 17 WIPP workers to radiation, who inhaled plutonium and americium particles. No Threat, hnnn

The Carlsbad WIPP is one of the world’s three deep repositories and the only one in the U.S. for storing nuclear waste left over from the production and testing of atomic weapons, burying the radioactive waste more than a third of a mile underground in tunnels hewn out of salt beds. The Carlsbad WIPP has received up to 212,000 cubic feet of nuclear waste a year since it opened in 1999. It stores waste from U.S. nuclear labs and weapons production facilities. New Mexican state law regulates hazardous waste facilities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows New Mexico to issue federal permits for the storage of hazardous waste. Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC manages the site.

The problem of the safe storage of nuclear waste has a long history, dating back to the World War 2 Manhattan Project, which built the first atomic weapons, when transuranic (TRU) waste began accumulating. In the 1950s, the National Academy of Sciences recommended deep disposal of long-lived TRU radioactive wastes in geologically stable formations such as deep salt beds. Throughout the 1960s, U.S. government scientists sought an appropriate site for TRU radioactive waste disposal, eventually focusing on a desert region of southeastern New Mexico where, 250 million years earlier, the evaporation of an ancient Permian Sea had created a 2,000-foot-thick salt bed.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy:
Bedded salt is free of fresh flowing water, easily mined, impermeable and geologically stable; an ideal medium for permanently isolating long-lived radioactive wastes from the environment. However, its most important quality in this application is the way salt rock seals all fractures and naturally closes all openings.

As for the nature of the radioactive debris stored at the site, in its WIPP webpage the U.S. Department of Energy notes:
WIPP is the nation’s only repository for the disposal of nuclear… waste. It consists of clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil and other items contaminated with small amounts of plutonium and other man-made radioactive elements. Disposal of transuranic waste is critical to the cleanup of Cold War nuclear production sites. Waste from DOE sites around the country is sent to WIPP for permanent disposal. TRU waste is categorized as “contact-handled” or “remote-handled” based on the amount of radiation dose measured at the surface of the waste container. Contact-handled waste has a radiation dose rate not greater than 200 millirem (mrem) per hour, while remote-handled waste can have a dose rate up to 1,000 rem per hour. About 96 percent of the waste to be disposed at WIPP is contact-handled.

The underground storage facility is closed until all testing is complete and they determine out the source of the radiation leak.

The Carlsbad WIPP incident is not New Mexico’s first radiation leak, accident or spill. In 1979, four months after the Three Mile Island accident, New Mexico experienced a high level spill when a breached dam at a uranium mill operated by the United Nuclear Corporation dumped 94 million gallons of effluent and 1,000 tons of acidic radioactive sludge into the Rio Puerco. The “Church Rock Spill” was eventually declared an EPA Superfund site in 1983 after the New Mexico Governor at the time objected to the Navajo Nation’s request that it be named a federal disaster.

What is certain is that pressure nationwide from the nuclear industry for more facilities similar to WIPP will continue to deal with spent fuel rods from over 100 nuclear facilities around the country, with the industry urging that the long delayed Yucca Mountain repository be funded, finished and fuel recycling initiated there.

On March 20, Energy Department spokesman Brad Bugger said, “We are doing ongoing monitoring of air, soil, water and vegetation, and we are seeing nothing that indicates any health impacts to workers, the public or the environment.”

Local residents are not so sure. Seeking to allay local fears, on March 12 Jose R. Franco, manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Carlsbad Field Office wrote to Eddy and Lea County residents, noting “I have made every aspect of our operations at WIPP open and available to the investigation team” before adding, “I was recently interviewed by a reporter who asked me if I thought WIPP would ever reopen. I told him that WIPP has to reopen, and it will reopen as a safer and stronger operation than it has ever been.”

In the interim, Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC will ship TRU radioactive waste from the federal Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to a dump in Andrews County, Texas, which is operated by Waste Control Specialists LLC.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-ck-daly/new-mexican-nuclear-leak no threat_b_5036647.html

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After leaks, WIPP nuke dump is storing waste in parking area

Posted on March 4, 2014 by  in Dick Clippings

“After leaks, nuke dump is storing waste in parking area.” This Feb. 24, 2014, photo shows the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M.

By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press Published Monday, March 3, 2014 | 5:45 p.m. Updated Monday, March 3, 2014 | 8:07 p.m.

ALBUQUERQUE — The federal government’s only underground nuclear waste dump remained shuttered Monday and state environment officials said they have set deadlines for the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to deal with radioactive waste left above ground at the repository.

Dozens of drums and other special containers that have been shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant from federal facilities around the country are being stored in a parking area at the plant and inside the facility’s waste handling building.

From there, the waste is usually taken to its final resting place deep in underground salt beds. However, the repository has been closed since early February due to back-to-back accidents, including a radiation release that exposed at least 13 workers and set off air monitoring devices around the plant.

Under its permit with the state, the dump can keep waste stored in the parking area for only 30 days and up to 60 days in the handling building. Due to the closure, the state is extending those deadlines to 60 days and 105 days, respectively. The federal government would have to develop an alternative storage plan if the underground dump remains off-limits for more than three months.

The Environment Department outlined the deadlines, along with requirements for weekly reports and a mandatory inspection before operations resume, in an administrative order made public Monday.

Jeff Kendall, general counsel for the department, said state officials believe allowing a little more time to fully vet all the options for safely storing the waste is the best bet.

“To require them to begin to systematically ship particular waste units back to points of origin or back to particular locations in a rather expedited fashion was not the best thing as far as environmental health or human health in this instance,” Kendall said in a phone interview.

Kendall added that the order also gives the state more explicit oversight as to what happens with the waste and how things are being handled by DOE and the plant managers.

After 15 years of operating with a stellar record, a truck that officials said was hauling salt in the underground chambers caught fire Feb. 5, shuttering the plant and halting all waste shipments. Nine days later, a radiation alert activated in the area where newly arrived waste was being stored.

Tests are ongoing to determine the health effects for the workers, and officials have yet to determine what may have caused the leak. They have been unable to access the underground portion of the repository.

Donavan Mager, a spokesman for Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, which runs WIPP, said Monday onsite monitoring and sampling of the surrounding soil, vegetation and water continue. He said new results are expected in the coming days.

WIPP officials confirmed Monday that only 13 employees were onsite when the radiation release occurred late Feb. 14. Another 140 employees showed up for work the following day.

Now, there are only 80 essential workers on site. Mager said they’re working in areas that have been tested and are free of contamination.

Some areas have been designated as “radiological buffers,” where only trained radiological workers can go. Mager said those workers are wearing protective equipment.

Every time workers leave the site, Mager said they are checked for any contamination.

WIPP is the nation’s first underground nuclear repository and the only facility in the country that can store plutonium-contaminated clothing and tools from Los Alamos National Laboratory and other federal nuclear sites.

Since opening, the plant has received more than 11,890 shipments, totaling more than 90,000 cubic meters of waste.

The above-ground material targeted by the state Environment Department’s order includes 145 cubic meters of waste in containers of various sizes and shapes.

Source: http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/mar/03/new-mexico-sets-deadlines-handling-nuke-waste/

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