Tags: radiation | california | coast | fukushima

Radiation: California Coast Sees Trace Amounts From Fukushima

By    |   Monday, 10 Nov 2014 08:27 PM

Experts say traces of low-level radiation thought to be from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown have been detected off the coast of California.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute said the radiation levels detected in California were far below any that could pose a threat to humans or ocean life.

"The levels are only detectable by sophisticated equipment able to discern minute quantities of radioactivity," marine chemist Ken Buesseler said in a news release.

WHOI, which is still investigating, said the traces showed up in multiple water samples off the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada. The samples closest to shore were collected about 100 miles off the coast of Eureka, California.

The radiation amounts were 1,000 times below Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for drinking water.

"We don't know exactly when the Fukushima isotopes will be detectable closer to shore because the mixing of offshore surface waters and coastal waters is hard to predict," Buesseler said in the statement. "We stand to learn more from samples taken this winter when there is generally less upwelling."

The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami released large amounts of contaminated water from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power plant. It has drifted across the Pacific Ocean thanks to ocean currents.

To date, 10 of the roughly 20 samples analyzed have tested positive for cesium-134, the staple element from the Fukushima plant, but the amount was less than 2 becquerels per cubic meter.

"I don't want to be dismissive of concerns," Buesseler told the Statesman Journal. "But there's a big difference between 10 million becquerels and it was that high off Japan in 2011 — and a few of these becquerels like we're seeing off Eureka. It's not zero. But it's not some large, dangerous amount of cesium that might reach our shorelines."

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Experts say traces of low-level radiation thought to be from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown have been detected off the coast of California.
radiation, california, coast, fukushima
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2014-27-10
Monday, 10 Nov 2014 08:27 PM
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