February 21, 2014

Fleeing Fukushima Fallout

Fukushima fallout by air and sea is on the west coast of N. America now.
After ten glorious years Linda and I are leaving the Pacific Ocean behind. In a few weeks we will be nuclear refugees courtesy of the March 11, 2011 triple melt downs at the Fukushima/Diachi NPP.

Having already been touched by the airborne particles spewing from the stricken plant for the past 1078 days, we don't feel like sticking around to see what the ocean-borne plume will bring with it. Unfortunately, we have limited data to help make an informed decision whether to stay or go.

In the complete absence of information from any level of government, and an all out news blackout since the disaster, we feel we must ere on the side of caution. If no one can tell us it is safe, then it is best to put some distance between ourselves and the ongoing disaster.

Most credible research shows that there is no safe limit of radiation. There is no acceptable amount that humans can be exposed to. The only safe level is zero. None.

Luckily Canada is a large country in which it is possible for us to get 6185 kilometres away while never leaving the comfort of home. I like the idea of being that much farther away from a problem that has no end in sight, and promises serious consequences globally for centuries to come.

Nuclear contamination in the Pacific Ocean after Fukushima disaster - highest concentrations 
will be off west coast of N. America, according to modelling.
Lead researcher Erik Behrens of the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, summarized the Pacific ocean radioactive plume situation this way:
“Based on the assumptions we made and the lack in knowledge about the real total released amount of radioactive materials, I am not able to assess whether the concentrations on the West Coast of the U.S. will be harmful or not. 
It can not be excluded that even small radioactive doses can have a harmful effect.”
 Maybe we can return to the west coast in 10,000 years after things have settled down a bit.


  1. oh no!

    Come to Ridgeway Ontario! It's a delightful small town on the edge of Lake Erie, walks on the beach, walks in the country, delightful village ....... nice people ;)

    1. Jess,

      Small town, beaches, Trans Canada trail, mild climate (for Canada), and nice people such as yourself. What's not to like?

      Your town sounds beautiful, and we have been looking in the Niagara region.

      There are so many beautiful places all across this country of ours. Price of rent and real estate will be factors in our decision.

      And backyard chickens. I want backyard chickens.

  2. This must have been a difficult and somewhat heartbreaking decision. Better to be safe than sorry. I would certainly move away from this toxic waste dump that I live in were it possible.

    Home is wherever the two of you are together! Can't wait to share in the journey.

    1. Miss Marla,

      As Linda and I research places to live we are finding out that pretty much everywhere has been affected by the toxic waste products of unrestrained industrial strength materialism.

      Fracking, drilling, factory zones, nuclear power plants and waste sites, mines, logging, spills, and the list goes on and on. The only way to get away from our own waste is to leave the planet. However, we are trying to minimize exposure.

      It is difficult to leave here, but we are looking at this move from the perspective of the carrot rather than the stick. This will allow us to implement some of our ideas for a more self-reliant life, as well as adapt our home for accessibility.

      We would like to be somewhere we can experiment and tinker with things like solar and wind power. Our current home, while incredibly beautiful, does not provide us with the freedom to do some things that are important to us, like having a big garden outside our door or playing guitar loudly.

      And I want chickens. Maybe a goat or two. And a trout pond. A roof over our heads - a small, well -insulated home, or cabin, or cottage, or shack or shed. Also a wood lot. And it must be affordable… very affordable.

      We are in the brainstorming stage so I am thinking big.

  3. I really applaud you for this choice! I always wonder how much money is being doled out to keep this hush-hush. We are a few hours from the Gulf of Mexico, where drilling is rampant. I'm just waiting for something to go wrong there. Fracking is also a big thing in Texas...well, raping the land in general is Texas' M.O. We're actually trying to get our boys into a charter school that has an entire section just called eco-wellness. Each child is allotted 4 sq. ft. of gardening space which they tend to weekly at the least. With the state of the planet, we just felt that a week of eco-wellness around the week of Earth Day is just not enough. I hope you find exactly what you're looking for!

    1. Megyn,

      I do love the idea of each kid getting their own plot to care for. When I was teaching I pioneered a garden with my grade four students. We carefully prepared the area, sowed a bunch of vegetables and sunflowers, and watched the magic of life unfold together.

      Our school garden was cared for by neighbourhood parents and their kids over the summer, and parent volunteers helped us stage a harvest lunch in the fall that was attended by the students (now beginning grade five), our principal, and many parents.

      It was awesome.

  4. try P.E.I. cost of housing is much less, on the ocean, and its still in Canada! A number of people we know have left B.C. and moved there. Its still on an ocean, for those who can't live without it and it has less industry, in some places. P.E.I. has a lot of homes, which do not cost much.

    1. e.a.f.,

      You are bang on about the Maritimes. I have been there a couple of times, and loved it. Linda was born in Halifax and has had family on the Eastern Shore for several hundred years.

      I imagine that is where we will end up because everything between here and the east coast is either too expensive, too cold, or both.

  5. I am looking forward to seeing where you land and how you flourish there. Bon chance!

    1. Erin,

      Thank you. We do hope you will stick with us through this transition and adventure.

  6. The entire situation is terrifying and woefully depressing. Nonetheless, I will focus on the good - I wish you both happiness, joy and excitement in your move. There is sorrow, I am sure, but also adventure! A time for change, a blossoming! :D I can't wait to hear where you go and how wonderful it is.

    1. Adge Lockhart,

      Sometimes it feels like I have been living in a dystopian novel for the past few years. Reality today is making many such novels of the past look pretty good in comparison. Who needs a memory hole when no one is paying attention anyway?

      Luckily that feeling has been balanced by watching bald eagles hunting on the estuary, and the lovely Linda's excellent company.

      After 10 years of staying put we are looking forward to striking out and seeing what we can build for ourselves in a new location. Stay tuned - we will keep you posted.


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