© Dave Masko
A bike rider reports 'swirls of greasy sea water is washing up' along this stretch of Oregon beach this morning in Newport.
Newport, Ore. - While the U.S. Department of Energy said in public statements that there are "no significant quantities of radiological material" deposited on West coast beaches, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was time to reassess the international atomic safety regime; meanwhile, there's growing fears here in Newport and other West coast fishing communities that Japan's radiation will spread from its coast to here.
Japan crisis spawns new concerns about fish safety along West coast
As Japan's nuclear reactors continue leaking radiation into the atmosphere and, in turn, have obliterated centuries-old fishing ports in the Tsunami-hit city Kamaishi, this news has prompted growing fears here in Newport and other coastal fishing towns that radiation could find its way here. For example, a hard wind blowing post-Tsunami wind came sliding down over the Newport beach Saturday morning greeting a lone bike rider on usually packed beaches that are now filled socked in waste from Japan. The woman biker said she's fears rabid dogs that are roaming the low sand dunes called "denes" where toxic water and dead sea life collect along sandy tracks. And, this against a backdrop of zero Spring Break tourists being seen on what's traditionally the busiest Saturday of the early spring season.
Biker spots trouble along the beaches, with new fears from Japan that local fishing could be impacted
Meanwhile, the bike rider reports "swirls of greasy sea water is washing up" this morning along this stretch of central Oregon coast beaches.
At the same time, locals have been treated to a clear blue horizon after evenings of disturbing flaming-orange and red sunsets that locals say are "not so much beautiful," but "sort of scary because of what's happening with the radiation in Japan."
The Japanese public television featured new reports Saturday morning that Tokyo's 13 million residents are under recent measurements of "ambient radiation of 0.22 microsieverts per hours. The Japanese Health Ministry stated that this is "six times normal for Tokyo."
Also, the World Nuclear Association said it cannot predict where the radiation from Japan will eventually wind up because precise radiation detection both in and over the Pacific is "not possible at this time" due to wind and ocean currents that can change.
At the same time, nearly a half million Japanese people remain in shelters with no safe drinking water or food, while the air along Japan's northeast coast is suspect of high levels of radiation drifting downwind toward the West coast of America, stated officials with the World Nuclear Association.
Here in Newport, a commercial fishing community, there's "real compassion" for the Japanese fishing industry that is losing its industry to radiation killing fish off the coast.
In a Japanese TV interview, a fisherman in the Tsunami-bashed city of Kamaishi noted how his fellow fishermen lost their fishing equipment, boats and ships, docks and fishing infrastructure, while noting that "we will probably get out of the business."
Japanese media is also reporting that the latest radiation scare in its waters have also "destroyed aqua farms for abalone, sea urchins, oysters, scallops and seaweed. In turn, officials say this loss accounts for "more than 80 percent of the revenue of the region's fisheries."
Moreover, new radiation tests on Saturday showed "iodine 131 levels in seawater 30 km (19 miles) from the coastal nuclear complex had spiked 1,250 times higher than normal, but it was not considered a threat to marine life or food safety," stated a news release from Japans Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
News that Japan's radiation crisis has now spread to the Pacific has heighten international concern over Japanese seafood exports, and fish exporters here in Newport are equally worried that the fear of radiation spreading worldwide may tarnish the reputation of the local fish that buyers may view as tainted by radioactive particles.
Newport and West coast dogs reported to be acting strange in the wake of the recent Tsunami
Oregon authorities have issued new strong warning to keep humans and pets away from all dead sea life found on any Oregon coast beach, "as they could become infected by a disease that's hitting the population in this area."
While radiation levels are viewed as safe right now along Oregon and other West coast beaches, there have been new warnings about a disease called "leptospirosis," that more recently infected California sea lions with by the hundreds.
Officials said the disease can spread to humans and dogs who come in contact with an infected sea lion or other dead sea life that's in mass after the recent quake in Japan triggered massive amounts of questionable debris along West coast beaches.
In the meantime, those who walk their dogs along coastal beaches have been warned about dogs reported to be ill with unknown causes; while, at the same time, other local pet owners fear their dogs - that sniff and eat various beach stuff that intrigues them while foraging around for bones and other objects - are possibly suffering the same fate at three nuclear power workers at Fukushima, Japan, who've been exposed to high levels of radiation, stated Japan's nuclear safety agency on Saturday.
A schnauzer puppy named "buggers," is now seriously ill, and several other Newport dogs who frequent the local beach are also said to be sick and acting crazy.
The problem is some of the beaches are still littered with decaying sea life, building bits and pieces -- thought to be from Japan's recent quake that triggered massive Tsunami waves that hit Newport and other West coast beaches - are reported to be "very ill" by their owners who've queried local health officials about the safety of taking pets for their usual walks along the beach.
At the same time, local dog owners point to recent "crazy reactions" by their pets after returning to run on the Newport area beaches after almost two weeks of being kept off the coast due to recent Tsunami warnings and massive amounts of "questionable" debris that may be from Japan.
"They usually don't act like this," said one local dog owner with desperation in his voice. "It's as if their whining about something not right around here."
Meanwhile, there's no good news from Japan these days.
"Atmospheric radiation levels are monitored constantly, and are now reaching other places in the world," stated a spokesperson for Japan Japan's health ministry on Saturday.