Environmental Policy - Final Project

Topics: Radioactive contamination, Chernobyl disaster, Radioactive decay Pages: 10 (1370 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Fukushima Causes National
Time for New EPA Policy


Holy Fukushima:
Statement of the Problem

March 11th, 2011 - Töhoku Earthquake
& Tsunami wreaked havoc upon Japan,
resulting in the largest nuclear
disaster since Chernobyl

The Tokyo Electric Power Company
(TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear
Power Plant experienced crippling
structural damage, as well as
subsequent meltdowns of several
nuclear reactors and steady leakage
of Iodine-131, Cesium-137, Cesium134, Tellurium, Uranium, and Strontium into the Pacific Ocean. 

Research Design/Method:
Major Fukushima Arguments

Argument #1
The leaked radioactive
material will not have a
significant impact on the U.S.
due to the relatively short
half-lives of the isotopes and
the likelihood of natural
dissemination, specifically in
the Convergence Zone of the
Pacific Ocean

Initial measures were taken by
the following list, however most
programs have been reduced since
then, specifically the EPA's
cutting back of monitoring
stations and increase of
allowable radioactive levels in
food on the West Coast

Maintains that the radioactive
contamination of the Pacific
Ocean poses a grave threat that
demands immediate revision of
the EPA’s Fukushima Policy. 

Newfound evidence of
radioactive contamination of
dairy products, aquatic
habitats, and beaches along the
West Coast due to the leaked
isotopes and other radioactive
materials, such as lost fuel
rods and debris from  from
TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi
Nuclear Power Plant meltdown



Analysis & Interpretation:
Major Problems with Current EPA Fukushima
In the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima
accident, the US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) “refused to answer questions or to explain
the exact location and number of monitors, or the
levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at
existing monitors in California” (Digges, 2012).

On March 21, 2011, the “EPA pulled 8 of 18 air
monitors in California, Oregon and Washington” that
tracked radiation from Japan’s nuclear reactors out
of service for so-called “quality reviews” (Digges,

 By April 2011 the EPA had temporarily raised

limits for radiation exposure by “rewriting its
Protective Action Guides (PAGs) to radically
increase the allowable levels of iodine-131 by
3,000 times, a 1,000-fold hike for exposure to
strontium-90, and a 25,000-fold increase in
exposure limits to radioactive Nikel-63” (Digges,

New evidence of “detectable levels of radioactive
Cesium (134 & 137) in milk from California,” and
more importantly, the recent discovery of 1,533
spent fuel rods at Fukushima , which TEPCO reports
are “packed tightly in a pool four floors above
Reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power
Plant” (Gianni, 2011; Flowers and Zeese, 2013).

Analysis & Interpretation:
Evidence In Support of Revising the
Science Magazine

Global Research
of California

Although the EPA, WHO, and FDA currently
agree that the Pacific Ocean will most likely
dilute the Fukushima radiation, a “previously
secret 1955 U.S. government report
concluded that the ocean may not
adequately dilute radiation from nuclear
accidents, and there could be “pockets” and
“streams” of highly-concentrated radiation” 
Physicians for Social Responsibility has
supported an intriguing finding, especially
for people living on the U.S. West Coast,
that will reportedly be included in the
UNSCEAR report: “only about 5% of the
directly discharged radiation was deposited
within a radius of 80 km from the TEPCO
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station,”
while roughly 95% was distributed directly
into the Pacific Ocean
Rather recently, scientists from the National...
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