Fukushima meltdown isotopes found on U.S. coasts.

The full extent of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima meltdown is still being uncovered, with measured levels of contamination increasing in previously identified sites throughout the North American coast. While it’s still too low to threaten human or ocean life, this confirms that the power plant continues to leak radioactive isotopes researchers report.

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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant saw wide-scale equipment failure following the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The ensuing triple reactor meltdowns and escape of radioactive material on the 12th were so severe that the accident is considered as being second only to the one at Chernobyl.

Researchers at the non-profit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have been taking samples of Pacific Ocean water and analyzing them in an effort to monitor and document the aftermath of the accident. The results show that the Fukushima reactors still leaks radioactive isotopes (especially cesium-134) four years after the meltdowns, reports marine radiochemist Ken Buesseler. Trace amounts of these atoms have been found in several hundreds of miles-wide areas of the Oregon, Washington and California coasts as well as offshore of Vancouver Island.

Another isotope, cesium-137, a radioactive reminder of the nuclear weapons tests conducted between 1950 and 1970, was found at low levels in nearly every seawater sample tested.

“Despite the fact that the levels of contamination off our shores remain well below government-established safety limits for human health or to marine life, the changing values underscore the need to more closely monitor contamination levels across the Pacific,” Buesseler said.

In 2014 the Institute reported detecting isotope contamination about 100 miles (160 km) off the norther coast of California as well as off Canada’s shorelines. The latest readings measured the highest radiation levels outside Japanese waters to date some 1,600 miles (2,574 km) west of San Francisco.

The figures also confirm that the spread of radiation to North American waters is not isolated to a handful of locations, but rather a along a stretch of more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of shoreline. Currently, reported levels in these areas shouldn’t be dangerous to organisms, but this may change in the future.

9 thoughts on “Fukushima meltdown isotopes found on U.S. coasts.

  1. Brian Donovan

    Why do we still believe the nonsense of “levels”. It’s the particular isotopes and the size of the particulate that contain them that really matters.

    Fukushima may have killed the pacific ocean.

    the same time the main ocean radiation plume fro,m fukushima arrives, massive unprecedented die off start. http://enenews.com/

  2. Riely Rumfort

    Leaks should peak by 2040, with half-lifes doing the work following(30 years for Cesium). 70 years from now levels should be diminishing, though by then global cancer rates may be around 1 in 18..

  3. Brian Donovan

    I think we are way deep in the unknown here. There are longer half life isotopes too like strontium. Many species can concentrate radioactive isotopes as well. If the die offs turn out to be in some way related, that’s a totally unexpected health threat. Particulate sources are the only way I can scientifically imagine them being the cause.

    All of us who were alive for the nuke bomb test have measurable strontium 90 in our teeth and bones. At the current rates o nuclear accidents there will have been 3 more by then. The only good thing is the uranium will start to run short in ten years.

  4. Riely Rumfort

    Aware of strontium and yes, the Pu-241 will half-life in 14 years. I agree we are in deep, hence the 1 in 18 global cancer rate by the end of it.

  5. Pingback: SURVIVALISTS BLOG | Fukushima meltdown isotopes found on U.S. coasts. – ZME Science

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