Fukushima Debris “Island” The Size Of Texas Near US West Coast

While it took Japan over two years to admit the Fukushima situation on the ground is “out of control“, a development many had predicted for years, a just as important topic is what are the implications of this uncontrolled radioactive disaster on not only the local environment and society but also globally, particularly Japan’s neighbor across the Pacific – the US.

To be sure, there has been much speculation, much of it unjustified, in the past two years debating when, how substantial and how acute any potential debris from Fukushima would be on the US. Which is why it was somewhat surprising to see the NOAA come out with its own modeling effort, which shows that not only “some buoyant items first reached the Pacific Northwest coast during winter 2011-2012” but to openly confirm that a debris field weighing over 1 million tons, and larger than Texas is now on the verge of hitting the American coastline, just west off the state of California.

Obviously, the NOAA in releasing such a stunner could well be hammered by the administration for “inciting panic” which is why it caveated its disclosure carefully:

Many variables affect where the debris will go and when. Items will sink, disperse, and break up along the way, and winds and ocean currents constantly change, making it very difficult to predict an exact date and location for the debris’ arrival on our shores.

The model gives NOAA an understanding of where debris from the tsunami may be located today, because it incorporates how winds and ocean currents since the event may have moved items through the Pacific Ocean. This model is a snapshot of where debris may be now, but it does not predict when debris will reach U.S. shores in the future. It’s a “hindcast,” rather than a “forecast.” The model also takes into account the fact that winds can move different types of debris at different speeds. For example, wind may push an upright boat (large portion above water) faster than a piece of lumber (floating mostly at and below the surface).


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8 years ago

Hmmm….”its research is just computer simulation”; wonder if this is the same computer model used for climate warming? And how ’bout this, “release of radioactive water shouldn’t be a concern”? And how ’bout, “radiation readings inconsequential”? I quit buying tuna and salmon a long time ago.

8 years ago

The “debris” was not radioactive when it was on land as part of homes and businesses.
It was not radioactice when the tsunami struck the shore. It was not radioactive when the ocean
pulled all that debris back out into the ocean and the millions of tons of debris IS NOT
RADIOACTIVE NOW. It has nver neen and NEVER WILL BE RADIOACTIVE. The radiation
from Fukushima Daiichi is a danger to those who live nearby. It is a small risk to the rest of
Japan. The risk to the rext of the planet is statistical and minimal. The average American
is far more at risk from their fast food/junk food lifestyle…the smoking, drinking and partying. You are FAR more likely to die in a car accident than from cancer caused by the
reactor in Japan.

99.99% of the idiots pontificating on the issue are grossly uneducated, ignorant and just plain stupid. They couldn’t tell you the difference between a becquerel and a curie if their life depended on it.

8 years ago

The 4th line in the article states “uncontrolled radioactive disaster”…a typical
ploy of yellow journalism to hint at something that isn’t true and allow the ignorant
and irrational to make the unsupported and erroneous connection. The material
in the debris field is basically no more dangerous than anything that can be found in
a typical American landfill.