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A sign held up by a child, in protest of more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, pointed out that “Solar doesn’t spill”. Nor does it leak or discharge lethal radionuclides.

Nuclear reactors legally, and sometimes illegally, discharge lethal and long-lived radionuclides into the Mississippi River and its tributaries, which eventually arrive in the Gulf of Mexico. But, unlike an oil spill, its impacts are invisible and barring a major accident would not be immediately noticeable.
NIRS Map of Nuclear Power Stations of the Mississippi River Watershed

Florida Beach as it should look
Pensacola Beach white sand U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley.
Coast Guard Beach Inspection PENSACOLA, Fla. – Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson and Coast Guard personnel walk accross a Pensacola beach. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley.
Oil and oiled feather on the beach
Beach oil and feather Pensacola U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley
PENSACOLA, Fla. – An oil-coated feather washed onto a Pensacola beach June 23rd. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley.

The oil has naturally occurring radionuclides (NORM). Initial research by Dr. Chris Busby-Green Audit showed 4.52 Bq/kg of radiation in the oil. The US FDA allows 1532 Bq/Kg of non-natural radionuclides in food or 339 times more. This is compared to 100 Bq/Kg in Japanese food. But, we can’t see radiation like we can see oil. And, the impacts are rarely seen immediately, as in oil. While it is obvious that oil should not be ingested for other reasons, from a radiological perspective it is safer than the food that Americans could be forced, by their own government, to unknowingly eat. According to the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR report, there is no safe dose of ionizing radiation. Even one becquerel (radioactive disintegration or shot) could cause cancer if damage occurs and is improperly repaired. Increased amounts is increased risk. It’s like shooting at random. We call that terrorism. For the nuclear industry, and the oil and gas industry to a lesser extent, it’s a way of life. Some fracking fluids are rumored to add additional radiation.

Wondering how many more Tar Balls will wash up?
Serving food and drinks to tourists is more fun than picking up tar balls!
Santa Rosa Island Pensacola Clean up photo U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley.
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Workers clean oil from a Pensacola beach on June 23rd. After about two months of containing the oil through skimming and boom, large cleanup efforts were finally necessary on Santa Rosa Island. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley.


Cleaning Oil Off of the Louisiana State Bird – The Brown Pelican (Not the mosquito as sometimes said.)
USFWS Cleaning Brown Pelican Louisiana State Bird
USCoast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall Brown Pelicans on Berm
Deepwater Horizon Response
100825-G-9883M-603 Queen Bess Island
GRAND ISLE, La. — Brown pelicans congregate on containment boom that surrounds Queen Bess Island, a few miles north of Grand Isle, La. August 25, 2010. The island is a sensitive nesting area for brown pelicans. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall.

Photo galleries of clean-up of US coastal pollution from the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (foot of the Mississippi River): https://www.flickr.com/photos/deepwaterhorizonresponse/albums

How much temporary and permanent damage to the seafood industry?

Great Protest vid (10 min):

From CommonDreams.org:
Published on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
As Obama Sells Pollution Inside Superdome, Protesters Demand: ‘No New Leases!’
‘We are telling Big Oil to take their rigs and go home,’ says local organizer

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Hundreds of Gulf Coast residents and climate activists are protesting Wednesday at the Superdome in New Orleans, in a historic call to end federal offshore fossil fuel lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico

The action is scheduled to coincide with Wednesday’s lease sale of 43 million acres in that very location—the first such auction since the Obama administration unveiled a five-year offshore drilling plan last week that protects the Atlantic but leaves the Gulf and Arctic open to oil and gas extraction projects. In a letter last week (pdf), http://webiva-downton.s3.amazonaws.com/877/de/e/7666/Cancel_GOM_March_23_auction_Group_letter.pdf groups called on President Barack Obama to cancel the auction, saying it illustrates “the dangerous disconnect between your administration’s climate goals and the continued leasing of federal lands and waters for fossil fuel extraction.”

According to organizers, which include climate and social justice groups 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Rainforest Action Network, busloads of concerned citizens came from around the region, hailing from Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana.

“The oil industry has drilled and polluted and destroyed the Gulf Coast for the last 100 years,” said Anne Rolfes, founding director of Louisiana Bucket Brigade

“Those of us who live here have let them get away with it,” she continued. “Today’s action is historic precisely because of the past century of submission. We are telling Big Oil to take their rigs and go home. And we are telling our elected officials to get with it, to lead the transition from dirty energy to one that relies on wind and solar. Clean, safe jobs are the jobs we want; this is the future we want. If we don’t grab it now, we risk being left behind in an oily puddle.”

In an essay for The Advocate co-written with Louisiana journalist Cherri Foytlin, Rolfes continued:
“The location of Wednesday’s lease auction is painfully ironic, given the Dome’s role as the evacuation of last resort during Hurricane Katrina.”
—Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade & Cherri Foytlin, journalist

The problems with the oil industry in Louisiana are painfully obvious. The relentless digging of canals has led to destruction of our wetlands that once offered important protections from storms. The first official climate refugees in the United States are the Louisiana community of Isle de Jean Charles. The destruction of this Native community underscores the harsh reality that poor communities, African-Americans, Native Americans and the Vietnamese communities are the most vulnerable, not just to coastal loss but to the industry’s relentless pollution.

The location of Wednesday’s lease auction is painfully ironic, given the Dome’s role as the evacuation of last resort during Hurricane Katrina. Who can forget what happened there? The oil industry had a hand in making us vulnerable to Katrina and to storms yet to come. And yet our government is using the Superdome as the venue to let the oil industry continue its harms.

Wednesday’s demonstration—which is also demanding that the fossil fuel industry create at least 1,000 jobs to address its “aging infrastructure and toxic legacy,” particularly in communities of color—builds on a national call to “keep it in the ground.” 

“The science is clear: in order to prevent climate catastrophe we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground,” said May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, in a statement. “That means an immediate end to all new oil and gas leases in the Gulf and a full transition to 100 percent renewable energy.”

Last fall, more than 400 groups and environmental leaders asked the Obama administration to end all federal fossil-fuel leasing, saying to do so would keep up to 450 billion tons of carbon pollution out of the atmosphere.” CC-BY-SA-3.0 http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/03/23/obama-sells-pollution-inside-superdome-protesters-demand-no-new-leases (Emphasis our own).

A Look at Tarballs and Tar Mats by the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle:

Excerpt from:
Uranium and radioactivity content of the Macondo oil
Preliminary Note
, by Chris Busby PhD, Green Audit, Aberystwyth, 25th August 2010
Samples of oil the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill were collected from the first oil contamination which came ashore on
the coast of Florida… Results for the first sample examined showed the Uranium concentration to be 0.073mg/kg (mean of 3 determinations, SD 0.008). This is about 500 times the concentration of Uranium in seawater which is reported to be 0.00015mg/kg (Weast, 1986). The total radioactivity of the Uranium 238, Pa234m, Th234 and U-234 series will thus be 3.62Bq/kg oil. Since this oil is from undisturbed deep strata there will also be Radium-226 and daughters in secular equilibrium at a minimum activity of 0.9Bq/kg.

(i.e. 4.52 Bq/kg) Link for article found here: https://lasinkhole.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/tar-balls/

The amounts of man-made radionuclides allowed by the US FDA in food for a total of 1532 Bq/kg. Others may be present along with these, as well. Compare to 100 Bq/kg in Japanese food and 600 Bq/kg in EU food (transfrontier; the UK allows 1000 Bq/kg for food from within the UK):
Strontium-90 160 Bq/kg
Iodine-131 170 Bq/kg
Cesium-134 + Cesium-137 1200 Bq/kg
Plutonium-238 + Plutonium-239 + Americium-241 2 Bq/Kg
Ruthenium is set at less than 1 Bq/Kg

The Dose Coefficients according to the ICRP: http://www.icrp.org/docs/P%20119%20JAICRP%2041(s)%20Compendium%20of%20Dose%20Coefficients%20based%20on%20ICRP%20Publication%2060.pdf The natural radionuclides listed by Busby and the manmade ones listed by the US FDA are within similar ranges of impacts for ingestion. And, certainly the natural ones are not over 300 times more dangerous than the manmade ones! The ICRP document can be used to compare dangers of different radionuclides, as well as to evaluate ingestion exposure (in conjunction with average annual food intake) and inhalation (in conjunction with air intake). Dose Coefficients (assumptions) and the food intake make a big difference in evaluating risk. Cancer risks found here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/another-look-at-the-recent-low-dose-radiation-exposure-study-inworks/