US: Exports, Imports, ‘Everything Weaker Across the Board’; Morgan Stanley Drops GDP Estimate to 1.5%; Expect to Hear the ‘R’ Word Soon

In case you missed it, economists have slowly ratcheted down GDP estimates for the first quarter. Morgan Stanley’s 1st quarter GDP estimate is 1.5% down from 1.9%. Barclays also lowered GDP estimates by a half-point to a range of 1.5% to 2%. 4% GDP estimates went out the window long ago.

Please consider U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows Less Than Forecast on Soaring Commodity Prices

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed less than forecast in February, indicating soaring commodity prices hurt the world’s largest economy at the start of the year.

The gap shrank 2.6 percent to $45.8 billion from a larger- than-previously-estimated $47 billion in January, according to figures from the Commerce Department today in Washington. Another report showed the cost of imported goods jumped in March by the most in almost two years.

“Everything was weaker across the board,” Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley in New York, said, referring to the trade data. “Import prices are reflecting surging energy prices,” he said, they “are going through the roof and that has been weighing on consumer spending.”

Read moreUS: Exports, Imports, ‘Everything Weaker Across the Board’; Morgan Stanley Drops GDP Estimate to 1.5%; Expect to Hear the ‘R’ Word Soon

We Can’t Compare Chernobyl to Fukushima: Fukushima Didn’t Explode, But At Fukushima There Are Thousands of Tons of Plutonium!

Added: 12.04.2011

Only now has the Japan government admitted its cover-up:

Japan Nuclear Safety Commissioner Admits Cover-Up: ‘If we immediately decided to label the situation as Level 7, we could have triggered a panicked reaction.’

Infinite Unknown readers knew that the Japan government has been informed that a (partial) meltdown was a going on from day one of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and I posted these videos on March 15:

Listen to the editor of the Japan Times if you haven’t done so (!):

Japan: Full Core Meltdown Will Send Radiation Over United States

Japan And US Try To Coverup Nuclear Catastrophe

How are the chances that things will get better?

Dr. Michio Kaku: ‘The situation at Fukushima is relatively stable now… in the same way that you are stable if you hang by your fingernails off a cliff, and your fingernails begin to break one by one.’ (April 4)

How bad is it really?

What They’re Covering Up at Fukushima: ‘You Get 3,500,000 The Normal Dose. You Call That Safe? And What Media Have Reported This? None!’ (March 17)

Dr. Chris Busby: Fukushima Now 72,000 Times Hiroshima Radiation (March 23)

Japan Nuclear Meltdown: Multiple Times Worse than Chernobyl (March 19)

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant In Japan: A Dirty Bomb Waiting To Go Off (March 16)

Japan Nuclear Meltdown: It’s Much, Much Worse Than It Looks (Thanks To The Stupidity of Nuclear Engineers!) (March 15 – MUST-READ!)

The low-level radiation propaganda lie:

Dr. Helen Caldicott: How Nuclear Apologists Mislead The World Over Radiation

Dr. Brian Moench: There Is No ‘Safe’ Exposure To Radiation

Dr. Peter Karamoskos: Don’t Be Fooled By A Never-Ending Cabal Of Paid Industry Scientific ”Consultants’ – Radiation Is Bad And Causes Cancer

Are There Safe Levels of Radiation? How Much Radiation Is Safe? (Must-read!)

The Propaganda From The Government And The Nuclear Industry About Low-Level Radiation Is Absolute Rubbish

Weather Modification: Texas to Minnesota: ‘HAARP RINGS’ and ‘SCALAR TECHNOLOGY SQUARES’ (4/13/2011)

He was right before:

Thanks To HAARP And The US Government: Giant Tornadoes Destroy Homes And Farms In Iowa

US: 1000 Mile Long Storm ‘appears Out Of Nowhere’ And Hits ‘HAARP RING / SCALAR SQUARE’ Areas (4/11/2011)

Think this is BS? Here is …

Former Governor Jesse Ventura on Government Cover-Ups . . . 9/11, the Reality of HAARP and Making Government Better

I believe we are seeing CIVILIAN land based stations , already authorized to transmit basically unlimited frequency.. ie from airports and normal RADAR stations— which are being used in the weather modification arsenal.

These “dual use” facilities have obviously (to me) been outfitted with “other gear”… exactly what gear has been installed, i have no idea yet.. but will be attempting to find out in the near future.

NORTHERN MINNESOTA — Tornados within 24-48 hours .. based upon the appearing of the “rings” in conjunction with the “squares” or actually rectangles.

Rest of the areas listed below .. severe weather UP TO tornados. Based upon the smaller concentric “spiral rings” . Austin, Dallas, Fort Smith Arkansas, Springfield and Kansas City Missouri, North Platte Nebraska , Hastings and Red Cloud Nebraska, Omaha Nebraska, Des Moines Iowa, Junction City and Topeka Kansas.…

Dr. Helen Caldicott: How Nuclear Apologists Mislead The World Over Radiation

George Monbiot and others at best misinform and at worst distort evidence of the dangers of atomic energy

A girl is screened in Iitate, about 40km from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, where high levels of radiation have been detected. Photograph: Takumi Harada/AP

Soon after the Fukushima accident last month, I stated publicly that a nuclear event of this size and catastrophic potential could present a medical problem of very large dimensions. Events have proven this observation to be true despite the nuclear industry’s campaign about the “minimal” health effects of so-called low-level radiation. That billions of its dollars are at stake if the Fukushima event causes the “nuclear renaissance” to slow down appears to be evident from the industry’s attacks on its critics, even in the face of an unresolved and escalating disaster at the reactor complex at Fukushima.

Proponents of nuclear power – including George Monbiot, who has had a mysterious road-to-Damascus conversion to its supposedly benign effects – accuse me and others who call attention to the potential serious medical consequences of the accident of “cherry-picking” data and overstating the health effects of radiation from the radioactive fuel in the destroyed reactors and their cooling pools. Yet by reassuring the public that things aren’t too bad, Monbiot and others at best misinform, and at worst misrepresent or distort, the scientific evidence of the harmful effects of radiation exposure – and they play a predictable shoot-the-messenger game in the process.

To wit:

1) Mr Monbiot, who is a journalist not a scientist, appears unaware of the difference between external and internal radiation

Let me educate him.

The former is what populations were exposed to when the atomic bombs were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; their profound and on-going medical effects are well documented. [1]

Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). [2] After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer. Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time.

The grave effects of internal emitters are of the most profound concern at Fukushima. It is inaccurate and misleading to use the term “acceptable levels of external radiation” in assessing internal radiation exposures. To do so, as Monbiot has done, is to propagate inaccuracies and to mislead the public worldwide (not to mention other journalists) who are seeking the truth about radiation’s hazards.

2) Nuclear industry proponents often assert that low doses of radiation (eg below 100mSV) produce no ill effects and are therefore safe. But , as the US National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII report has concluded, no dose of radiation is safe, however small, including background radiation; exposure is cumulative and adds to an individual’s risk of developing cancer.

3) Now let’s turn to Chernobyl. Various seemingly reputable groups have issued differing reports on the morbidity and mortalities resulting from the 1986 radiation catastrophe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005 issued a report attributing only 43 human deaths directly to the Chernobyl disaster and estimating an additional 4,000 fatal cancers. In contrast, the 2009 report, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment”, published by the New York Academy of Sciences, comes to a very different conclusion. The three scientist authors – Alexey V Yablokov, Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V Nesterenko – provide in its pages a translated synthesis and compilation of hundreds of scientific articles on the effects of the Chernobyl disaster that have appeared in Slavic language publications over the past 20 years. They estimate the number of deaths attributable to the Chernobyl meltdown at about 980,000.

Monbiot dismisses the report as worthless, but to do so – to ignore and denigrate an entire body of literature, collectively hundreds of studies that provide evidence of large and significant impacts on human health and the environment – is arrogant and irresponsible. Scientists can and should argue over such things, for example, as confidence intervals around individual estimates (which signal the reliability of estimates), but to consign out of hand the entire report into a metaphorical dustbin is shameful.

Read moreDr. Helen Caldicott: How Nuclear Apologists Mislead The World Over Radiation

Japan Government: Some Fukushima Prefecture Areas Exceed Permissible Radiation Limit

The science ministry says the amount of radiation accumulated over about half a month in some areas of Fukushima Prefecture has exceeded the permissible level for a whole year.

Since March 23rd, the ministry has been measuring radiation levels in 15 locations more than 20 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

At one location, in Namie Town about 30 kilometers northwest of the plant, 14,480 microsieverts of radiation had accumulated over the 17-day period to Sunday.
8,440 microsieverts of radiation were observed in Iitate Village.

In another location in Namie, the amount reached 6,430 microsieverts.
People would be exposed to this accumulated amount of radiation if they had stayed outdoors throughout the entire period.

Read moreJapan Government: Some Fukushima Prefecture Areas Exceed Permissible Radiation Limit

Fukushima: Fire And Black Smoke Near Reactor No. 4, Flames No Longer ‘Visible’

Fire and smoke in a building near Reactor No. 4 at Fukushima on April 12By JAPAN-PLANT/FIRE

(URGENT) April 12 (Reuters) – A fire broke out at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric and Power (TEPCO) said on Tuesday, although flames and smoke were no longer visible.

A worker saw fire at a building near the No.4 reactor at around 6:38 a.m. (21:38 GMT) and a fire fighting unit of the Self Defence Forces was sent to fight the blaze, a TEPCO spokesman said.

“Flames and smoke are no longer visible but we are awaiting further details regarding whether the fire has been extinguished completely,” he said.

Read moreFukushima: Fire And Black Smoke Near Reactor No. 4, Flames No Longer ‘Visible’

Europe: Radiation Risks From Fukushima ‘No Longer Negligible’


After the radioactive cloud emanating from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant reached Europe in late March, CRIIRAD, a French research body on radioactivity, an NGO, said it had detected radioactive iodine-131 in rainwater in south-eastern France.

In parallel testing, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the national public institution monitoring nuclear and radiological risks, found iodine 131 in milk.

In normal times, no trace of iodine-131 should be detectable in rainwater or milk.

The Euratom Directive of 13 May 1996 establishes the general principles and safety standards on radiation protection in Europe.

The risks associated with iodine-131 contamination in Europe are no longer “negligible,” according to CRIIRAD, a French research body on radioactivity. The NGO is advising pregnant women and infants against “risky behaviour,” such as consuming fresh milk or vegetables with large leaves.

In response to thousands of inquiries from citizens concerned about fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Europe, CRIIRAD has compiled an information package on the risks of radioactive iodine-131 contamination in Europe.

The document, published on 7 April, advises against consuming rainwater and says vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid consuming vegetables with large leaves, fresh milk and creamy cheese.

The risks related to prolonged contamination among vulnerable groups of the population can no longer be considered “negligible” and it is now necessary to avoid “risky behaviour,” CRIIRAD claimed.

However, the institute underlines that there is absolutely no need to lock oneself indoors or take iodine tablets.

CRIIRAD says its information note is not limited to the situation in France and is applicable to other European countries, as the level of air contamination is currently the same in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, for instance.

Read moreEurope: Radiation Risks From Fukushima ‘No Longer Negligible’

Fukushima Radiation Taints US Milk Supplies At Levels 300% Higher Than EPA Maximums, Indicates Radioactive Contamination Of The Entire Food Supply

Comments from article author Jeff McMahon:

-EPA: New Radiation Highs in Little Rock Milk, Philadelphia Drinking Water (Forbes):

Yes, David, I know. Very complicated to explain. EPA lumps these gamma and beta emitters together under one collective MCL, so if you’re seeing cesium-137 in your milk or water, the MCL is 3.0 picocuries per liter; if you’re seeing iodine-131, the MCL is 3.0; if you’re seeing cesium-137 and iodine-131, the MCL is still 3.0.

Here’s a somewhat historic EPA document that speaks directly to that issue:

Although not having a 4 mrem per year equivalent level specified in the current drinking water regulations as do tritium and strontium-90, the compliance monitoring scheme indicates that an iodine-131 level of 3 pCi/L is the MCL compliance level (presumably derived from the NBS Handbook); the ANPRM indicates that 700 pCi/L is the 4 mrem/year equivalent.

via Drinking Water Criteria Document for Beta and Gamma Emitting Radionuclides

Be advised that document won’t open in older browsers.

And here’s a current EPA faq that repeats the same 3 pCi/L MCL for iodine-131:

If we lump together the three radionuclides in that Hilo, Hawaii reading, we get 61 pCi/L. Alarming? How about that recent Boise rainfall sample: 468 pCi/L.

The reason we shouldn’t be alarmed, EPA says, is that these are short-term, temporary exposures and the MCL assumes long-term exposure.

The EPA has another MCL that it takes more seriously, and that is, that people should not be exposed to more than 4 millirem per year. To make sense of that number we need to be able to express picocuries as millirems, but that’s what that legacy document does that I quoted above:“the compliance monitoring scheme indicates that an iodine-131 level of 3 pCi/L is the MCL compliance level; the ANPRM indicates that 700 pCi/L is the 4 mrem/year equivalent.”

What this all means to me is that if you’re a water company, EPA will insist you keep the gamma/beta emitters in your water below 3 pCi/L in pursuit of another aim, which is to keep your customers’ annual radiation exposure below 700, or, put another way, below 4mrem, over the course of a year.

If we should not be exposed to more than 700 pCi/L per year, then anyone who drinks two liters of Boise rainwater or 13 liters of Hilo milk is in trouble. Both those scenarios may be unlikely, but they’re beginning to get closer to likely than the reassurances we’ve been receiving would seem to indicate.

Fukushima radiation taints US milk supplies at levels 300% higher than EPA maximums

(NaturalNews) The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to release new data showing that various milk and water supply samples from across the US are testing increasingly high for radioactive elements such as Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137, all of which are being emitted from the ongoing Fukushima Daiichia nuclear fallout. As of April 10, 2011, 23 US water supplies have tested positive for radioactive Iodine-131 (…), and worst of all, milk samples from at least three US locations have tested positive for Iodine-131 at levels exceeding EPA maximum containment levels (MCL) (…).

As far as the water supplies are concerned, it is important to note that the EPA is only testing for radioactive Iodine-131. There are no readings or data available for cesium, uranium, or plutonium — all of which are being continuously emitted from Fukushima, as far as we know — even though these elements are all much more deadly than Iodine-131. Even so, the following water supplies have thus far tested positive for Iodine-131, with the dates they were collected in parenthesis to the right:

Los Angeles, Calif. – 0.39 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Philadelphia (Baxter), Penn. – 0.46 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Philadelphia (Belmont), Penn. – 1.3 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Philadelphia (Queen), Penn. – 2.2 pCi/l (4/4/11)
Muscle Shoals, Al. – 0.16 pCi/l (3/31/11)
Niagara Falls, NY – 0.14 pCi/l (3/31/11)
Denver, Colo. – 0.17 pCi/l (3/31/11)
Detroit, Mich. – 0.28 pCi/l (3/31/11)
East Liverpool, Oh. – 0.42 pCi/l (3/30/11)
Trenton, NJ – 0.38 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Painesville, Oh. – 0.43 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Columbia, Penn. – 0.20 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Oak Ridge (4442), Tenn. – 0.28 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Oak Ridge (772), Tenn. – 0.20 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Oak Ridge (360), Tenn. – 0.18 pCi/l (3/29/11)
Helena, Mont. – 0.18 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Waretown, NJ – 0.38 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Cincinnati, Oh. – 0.13 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Pittsburgh, Penn. – 0.36 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Oak Ridge (371), Tenn. – 0.63 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Chattanooga, Tenn. – 1.6 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Boise, Id. – 0.2 pCi/l (3/28/11)
Richland, Wash. – 0.23 pCi/l (3/28/11)

Again, these figures do not include the other radioactive elements being spread by Fukushima, so there is no telling what the actual cumulative radiation levels really were in these samples. The figures were also taken two weeks ago, and were only just recently reported. If current samples were taken at even more cities, and if the tests conducted included the many other radioactive elements besides Iodine-131, actual contamination levels would likely be frighteningly higher.

But in typical government fashion, the EPA still insists that everything is just fine, even though an increasing amount of US water supplies are turning up positive for even just the radioactive elements for which the agency is testing — and these levels seem to be increasing as a direct result of the situation at the Fukushima plant, which continues to worsen with no end in sight (…).

Water may be the least of our problems, however. New EPA data just released on Sunday shows that at least three different milk samples — all from different parts of the US — have tested positive for radioactive Iodine-131 at levels that exceed the EPA maximum thresholds for safety, which is currently set at 3.0 pico Curies per Liter (pCi/l).

In Phoenix, Ariz., a milk sample taken on March 28, 2011, tested at 3.2 pCi/l. In Little Rock, Ark., a milk sample taken on March 30, 2011, tested at 8.9 pCi/l, which is almost three times the EPA limit. And in Hilo, Hawaii, a milk sample collected on April 4, 2011, tested at 18 pCi/l, a level six times the EPA maximum safety threshold. The same Hawaii sample also tested at 19 pCi/l for Cesium-137, which has a half life of 30 years (…), and a shocking 24 pCi/l for Cesium-134, which has a half life of just over two years (…).

Why is this milk contamination significant? Milk, of course, typically represents the overall condition of the food chain because cows consume grass and are exposed to the same elements as food crops and water supplies. In other words, when cows’ milk starts testing positive for high levels of radioactive elements, this is indicative of radioactive contamination of the entire food supply.

Read moreFukushima Radiation Taints US Milk Supplies At Levels 300% Higher Than EPA Maximums, Indicates Radioactive Contamination Of The Entire Food Supply

Yellowstone: Conductivity Image Hints Supervolcano Plume Is Bigger Than Thought

See also:

Yellowstone: ANOTHER 4.1 Magnitude Earthquake (4/5/2011)

YELLOWSTONE: 4.1 Magnitude Earthquake! (04/01/2011)

This image, based on variations in electrical conductivity of underground rock, shows the volcanic plume of partly molten rock that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano. Yellow and red indicate higher conductivity, green and blue indicate lower conductivity. Made by University of Utah geophysicists and computer scientists, this is the first large-scale “geoelectric” image of the Yellowstone hotspot. (Credit: University of Utah.)

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2011) — University of Utah geophysicists made the first large-scale picture of the electrical conductivity of the gigantic underground plume of hot and partly molten rock that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano. The image suggests the plume is even bigger than it appears in earlier images made with earthquake waves.

“It’s like comparing ultrasound and MRI in the human body; they are different imaging technologies,” says geophysics Professor Michael Zhdanov, principal author of the new study and an expert on measuring magnetic and electrical fields on Earth’s surface to find oil, gas, minerals and geologic structures underground.

“It’s a totally new and different way of imaging and looking at the volcanic roots of Yellowstone,” says study co-author Robert B. Smith, professor emeritus and research professor of geophysics and a coordinating scientist of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Read moreYellowstone: Conductivity Image Hints Supervolcano Plume Is Bigger Than Thought