This is a follow-up to the post, Should we worry about Fukushima?
There has been concern over the far-reaching and long-term effects of radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean since a tsunami and earthquake struck Japan in March 2011. The two disasters combined, caused a meltdown of 3 nuclear reactors at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) plant. As I stated in my post, there needs to be more research to understand the effects of the meltdown.
In a resent article from USA Today it was indicated that Ken Buesseler stated, “I’m not trying to be an alarmist.”, “We can make predictions, we can do models. But unless you have results, how will we know it’s safe?”
Ken Bruesseler is a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He has been following and monitoring Pacific Ocean radiation levels since Fukishima’s meltdown. He originally predicted the radiation in the ocean would hit the US west coast in three years.
The USA Today article made reference to a new report by stating that a “report presented last week at a conference of the American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Section showed that some Cesium 134 has already has arrived in Canada, in the Gulf of Alaska area.” Then the article goes on to say that Cesium 134 has a half-life of 2 years.
I recall that the concern over the contaminated run off was the isotopes Cesium 137 and Strontium 90. Cesium 137 is known to cause cancer and has a half-life of 30 years. Strontium 90 is linked to bone cancer and leukemia and has a half-life of 28.8 years.
As reported in the USA Today article, “no federal agency currently samples Pacific Coast seawater for radiation,” Bruesseler said. He and other scientists want more research.
California and Oregon currently does some testing for radioactive isotopes in the Pacific. Currently the testing in both states revealed minimal detectable activity.
As the contaminated water is suspected to reach Seattle as late as this summer, and travel south, it will be interesting to see how the levels change as the run off water from TEPCO reaches the US coast.
Meanwhile Bruesseler is using crowd-sourced money and volunteers to monitor radioactivity within the ocean along the Pacific coast. His project is titled – “How Radioactive Is Our Ocean?”.
Yours in Health,
Sean Ripp, D.C.