Remember 3.11.11 – the 6th Anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Media Contact: Linda Speel

Remember 3.11.11 – the 6th Anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
A Day of Remembrance in Solidarity & Sympathy for Japan

 (Petaluma 2/21/17)  Sonoma County residents are invited to a FREE public event on Saturday, March 11, 2017, to commemorate the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster that occured a few days after the great earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011.  Remember 3.11.11” is a reflective and informed event sponsored by three socially engaged local groups: FukushimaResponse, Peace Crane Project, and Metta Center for Nonviolence.

The members of these groups will gather in Putnam Plaza, 129 Petaluma Blvd. N. in Petaluma, California, at 10:00am and will remain available until 2:00pm to answer questions about the history, current status and future implications of this ongoing nuclear disaster. There will be geiger counter demonstrations, origami making, guided meditation, and music.  At the top of each hour, three minutes and eleven seconds of silence will be observed for all the victims, past and future, of this monumental ecological tragedy.

Numerous other efforts to remember the Sixth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan are being organized globally; for example, in London, Berlin, Spain, Colombia, Australia.  With all the troubling news and cause for great concern in our world right now, there persists an international network of people who know and care deeply about what this particular nuclear catastrophe means.  This Petaluma event is part of an international response.

John Bertucci of FukushimaResponse described his thoughts for this day, “Given that there are 450 other operating Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) sprinkled across the globe that could easily become similar catastrophes, it is important that we recognize and understand the risks and potential impacts of the radioactive contamination they would release into our communities and ecosystems. You could say Japan is teaching us how to respond; unfortunately, especially for the people of Japan, it’s been more a lesson in how not to.”

FukushimaResponse has organized or participated in memorial events for all five preceding Fukushima anniversaries, and in October of 2013 assembled 500 people for the “Fukushima is Here” human mural on Ocean Beach in San Francisco.  Last year, Peace Crane Project organized a “Nuclear Rembrance Day” in Putnam Plaza on the August 6th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.  Metta Center for Nonviolence is an internationally known organization based in Petaluma, dedicated to helping people find their way to live in peace and harmony.

The public is enthusiastically invited to join in this important annual event to commemorate the Sixth Year Anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) disaster.  An exceptional opportunity to manifest our continued concern and compassion for those who lived nearby and have lost their homes, their livliehood, their health – as well as to think about all of us on the planet that the Daiichi disaster continues to contaminate. 

Remember 3.11.11 – the 6th Anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster” begins at 10:00am on Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Putnam Plaza, 129 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma, California.  This FREE event is sponsored by: Fukushima Response, – Peace Crane Project, – Metta Center for Nonviolence,  Peaceroots Alliance,

For more information & interviews contact: Linda Speel 707-765-0196

Link to recent article by Robert Hunziker on the current situation in Fukushima:

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Citizen Science – More Seawater Sampling

Sebastian Chalmers, Norwegian student and Cea Higgins, Surfrider Sonoma Coast helped collect seawater samples at Bodega Head

Peaceroots has been sending seawater samples to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to be tested for radionuclides whose source is likely to be the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan in 2011. WHOI is testing for the two isotopes of cesium (137 and 134) that provide the first indication of whether contamination from Fukushima is present in a sample.

On December 27, 2016, with help from Sebastian Chalmers and Cea HIggins (see photo above), collected our sixth 50-pound sample of seawater from Bodega Head, off the coast of Sonoma County, California. Results are still pending.

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Real-time Ocean Water Monitoring Sensor at Bodega Head


From Dan Sythe, Executive Director of Whalesong Project:

Here is a link to the latest data that a group of local nonprofits have been collecting by pooling resources to keep track of the levels over time. The groups here in N. CA are Peace Roots Alliance with Linda Speel and friends, Fukushima Response with Jina Brooks, John Bertucci and friends, and Whalesong Project, a nonprofit that many volunteer for, including me as Executive Director.

We hope it can become a model for regional monitoring of food, ocean water, seaweed, fish etc.

We are also participating in the Safecast Project by creating and maintaining this realtime ocean water monitoring sensor at Bodega Head.

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Win a Geiger Counter!

Fukushima Response

Win an Inspector Alert ?
& help fund a regional monitoring project ?
win-win either way !

Print out the pdf Flyer for full details here:–Final.pdf

It’s easy to enter by mail (sorry, no online option) pdf Flyer comes with plenty of tickets…

Fukushima Response Treasurer Jude Mion will enter your mailed in tickets – as many as you fill out & send us – when your check is received

Winner will be notified immediately – pls write your contact info clearly…

Drawing in Petaluma on November 10th will be video recorded & fb posted here:

Learn – Measure – Avoid
the invisible dragon…
including Dai-ichi

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Students Investigate Fukushima Effects in Sonoma County


Three students presented their findings for an Investigative Sociology class. Cilck here: FukushimaRadiationAffects (.pdf)

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Peaceroots will be taking another seawater sample to send for Fukushima radionuclides

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows

MARCH 7, 2016

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, there is still no U.S. federal agency responsible for studies of radioactive contaminants in the ocean. But scientific data about the levels of radioactivity in the ocean off our shores are available publicly thanks to ongoing efforts of independent researchers, including Ken Buesseler, a radiochemist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), who has led the effort to create and maintain an ocean monitoring network along the U.S. West Coast.

Since 2011, Buesseler has received contributions from citizens, small businesses, foundations and large companies to enable the sampling of nearly 1000 seawater samples for Fukushima radionuclides. Buesseler has been involved in seven cruises off Japan, sampling off Fukushima at least once every year, most recently in October 2015, and has published 19 peer-reviewed papers based on his analysis of seawater and sediments from the Pacific.

Buesseler’s work reveals that levels of radioactive forms of cesium in the ocean off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011, however, his analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation when levels are below regulatory limits.

“To date, we have focused our efforts on testing for the two isotopes of cesium (137 and 134) and strontium,” says Buesseler. “The cesium isotopes were the most abundant after the accident and provide the first indication of whether contamination from Fukushima is present in a seawater sample.” Because cesium-134 has a half-life of just two years, researchers know, when detected, that it comes from Fukushima. Cesium was 40 times more abundant in the water after the accident than strontium – a ratio that the scientists discover is changing.

The changing concentrations of both these elements in the waters off Japan tell a story of continued small leaks and raise concerns about the materials still stored at the reactor site.

Cesium off Japan

Cesium levels in the water off Japan spiked after the accident, then fell dramatically in the following year. Since then, however, rather than a steady decline, the cesium levels have remained relatively constant.

“Levels today off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011,” says Buesseler. “But we are not seeing the steady decrease we would expect to see off Fukushima if all sources had stopped; rather, we are finding values are still elevated, which confirms that there is continued release from the plant.”

The highest level of cesium Buesseler’s team found in a sample taken off Japan in October 2015 measured 200 Becquerels per cubic meter (about 264 gallons) of seawater. (A Becquerel equals one decay event per second.) The samples were collected following a typhoon in September that delivered unusually heavy rains, which the researchers suspect may have caused elevated cesium levels in the ocean. These levels are still higher than prior to the accident but much lower than at the peak of the releases in 2011 when there were 50 million Bq/m3 in the ocean immediately off the dock at Fukushima.

While not declining as quickly as researchers had expected, the levels detected near Japan are still more than 40 times lower than US government safety limits for drinking water, and well below limits of concern for direct exposure while swimming, boating, or other recreational activities. At these lower levels, the concern remains for seafood safety and internal consumption of radioactive contaminants in fish.

Strontium off Japan

The scientists have learned that cesium is just part of the story: Strontium, too, is not falling as expected. Strontium-90 has nearly the same half-life of cesium-137, and the researchers expected its levels would drop in step with cesium. Yet Buesseler and colleagues led by Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona, Spain have found that strontium is not decreasing as fast as cesium. Whereas there was approximately 40 times more cesium than strontium in the waters off Japan in 2011, by 2013, there was approximately 10 times more cesium than strontium. The concern lies in the thousands of tons of strontium still stored in tanks at the nuclear power plant and accumulated in buildings and soils, some of it still leaking into the ocean.

“We think that when there is heavy rain, more cesium, strontium, and other isotopes from the nuclear power plant are carried into the ocean,” says Buesseler. “We are still investigating how that occurs –whether carried in the groundwater or from the run off of sediment – but clearly it is highest near the contaminated site of the Fukushima nuclear power plants.”

Because strontium-90 mimics calcium in humans and animals, it is taken up by and concentrated in bones, where it remains for long periods of time, making it a greater health concern than cesium. Cesium, on the other hand, flushes out of the body much faster.

“Whereas it takes approximately two months for half of the radioactive cesium to flush out of fish, it takes more like two years for strontium to flush out of fish because it’s in their bones,” says Buesseler. “So if the supply of strontium to the ocean gets worse, it would take longer for the levels to decrease in seafood. So far, strontium levels are more than a hundred times lower than cesium when measured in fish, so it has not been a concern, but we have to monitor it.”

Monitoring the North American West Coast

In addition to studying the waters off Japan, Buesseler and his colleagues have been actively monitoring the Pacific waters off the North American West Coast, primarily for cesium, the most abundant element after the accident. So far, they have detected only minute quantities of Fukushima cesium.

Fukushima-derived cesium first arrived along the west coast of North America in February 2015, measuring 6 Bq/m3 in Ucluelet, British Columbia. The highest numbers the researchers have seen in the eastern Pacific are almost 10 Bq/m3, found some 1,500 miles north of Hawaii.

“If you were to swim in waters at this level the health effects, or dose, would be 1000 times less than a single dental x-ray. This is not zero, but a very small risk that would not stop me from swimming or eating seafood from our side of the Pacific,” said Buesseler.

Because cesium levels have been so small and the cost of analyzing samples for strontium is so great, the researchers have not been analyzing samples off North America for strontium, until recently.

The researchers receive enough questions about strontium that they re-analyzed some of the West Coast samples that contained Fukushima cesium-134 looking for strontium, and have not detected any above the background levels that were there before Fukushima.

“So little strontium was released relative to cesium from Fukushima in 2011, that even though Fukushima cesium is detectable, the strontium-90 signal is not detectable in these samples, at least in the eastern Pacific,” says Buesseler.

The researchers continue to collect and analyze samples both from citizen scientists and, when possible, from ships and research cruises on the eastern side of the Pacific. The data are made publically available through the Our Radioactive Ocean, the crowd-funding website Buesseler created for this purpose. The site’s map interface allows the public to see where samples were collected and the cesium values measured in each sample.

Levels in the ocean are expected to peak along the West Coast of the U.S. some time in 2015 or 2016, so continued monitoring is needed.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit 7, 2016 – See more at:

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Peaceroots Alliance Valentine’s Celebration Fundraiser

Join us February 13, 2016 for an evening of dancing and fun!
Includes a light dinner by Robert Tepper, Beer and Wine available
Valentine Theme Dessert Contest, bring your favorite treat and enter!
Raffle and silent auction

Music by:
The Farm Band
The Best Witches Women’s Choir
The SoulShine Blues Band

Starr Hergenrather MC
Tickets are $25.00 available

February 13, 2016
Sebastopol Community Cultural Center
390 Morris St, Sebastopol, CA 95472
6pm to 12am


Raffle tickets now on sale for a beautiful queen size ice-tie-dyed quilt, made by Linda Speel and quilted by Judy Meeker of More Than Warmth. Send checks to PRA, PO Box 255. Petaluma, CA 94953. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.00.

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World in Danger: Fukushima



This is a flyer for a talk at Sonoma State University on Wednesday, November 18th at 7:00 p.m. featuring Arne Gunderson and Majia Nadesan.

Click on the image for a larger view.

SSUflyer FNL


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Fall Newsletter

Here’s a link to our 2015 PRA Fall newsletter (pdf)

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Save the Date – February 13, 2016 Valentine’s Dance

Stay tuned for our February 13th, 2016 Valentine’s dance fundraiser celebration.
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