...The study spells out a horrific scenario in which compromised irradiated fuel turned huge amounts of ocean water into a series of uranium-related peroxide compounds containing as many as 60 “uranyl ions” in hardy nanoscale cage clusters that can “potentially transport uranium over long distances” and persist for “at least 294 days without detectable change.”
How hot these nano-cage clusters of cancer-causing radiation are depends on what kind and ratio of uranium isotopes make up the 60 in each one.
“A given isotope has the same radioactivity (half-life) regardless of what chemical state it is in,” Alexandra Navrotsky, Ph.D., director of nanomaterials research at U.C. Davis, told the VCReporter. “So the radioactivity for a constant number of U atoms depends on the proportion of different isotopes in the sample.”
There is a strong possibility that these uranium peroxide buckyballs are already sloshing around in the waters off Southern California as this reporter and the EPA’s radiation readings appear to indicate. But if it was the source of our high detections what was the mechanism that was transporting radiation inland.
Sea spray, perhaps. Radioactive sea spray has been shown to blow hundreds of kilometers inland in tests conducted in the United Kingdom by British and European researchers. As any one who has ever smelled the salty ocean air miles from the ocean might expect, salt in sea spray can travel a significant distance. The same holds true for radioactive particles floating in the sea, even if in addition to U60 buckyballs.
In the 2008 report “Sea to land transfer of radionuclides in Cumbria and North Wales,” the greatest average concentration of cesium-137 and plutonium-239 in soil at a depth of 0 to 15 centimeters was found 10 kilometers from the coast. The highest average amounts found at 15 to 30 centimeters deep were 5 kilometers away from the sea illustrating the unpredictability of radiation fallout.
A 62-page UK study released in December 2011 found that sea spray and marine aerosols created from bubbles forming and popping when the sea is choppy or waves break have increased concentrations of radioactive “actinides.”
Actinides are chemically alike radioactive metallic elements and include uranium and plutonium. One actinide infused the spray with an 812 times greater concentration of americium-241 than normal amounts of Am-241 in ambient seawater.
The report cited information that sea-spray-blown cesium 137 was found 200 kilometers from the discharge source in the New Hebrides islands in northern Scotland.
Another UK study found that the Irish Sea has a micro layer on top of it, perhaps only thousandths of a millimeter in thickness, that can become imbued with fine particulate material and its absorbed radiation.
These concentrations of plutonium and americium are four to five times their concentrations in ambient seawater. Plutonium concentrates by 26,000 times in floating algal blooms at sea, says the report.
These radionuclides and buckyballs make up the goo inexorably crossing the Pacific, which may just have begun to impact our shores. Yet not a nickel of state or federal money is spent monitoring it. We are on our own in this Fukushima nightmare.