Fukushima Radiation Leak Reached The US



A 9.0 magnitude earthquake damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in March 2011.  But it still leaks small amounts of radiation into the Pacific Ocean.  It is now showing up on the west coast of the US.  Fukushima has its ‘fingerprint’ isotope, cesium-134 with only a two-year half-life.  It is different from cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing carried out sometime between 1950 and 1970.

The lead researcher Ken Buesseler from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said, “Researchers have detected 110 new contaminated sites off the American Pacific coast, including the highest levels of radioactive contamination around 2,500 km west of San Francisco.  That’s still 500 times below US government safety limits for drinking water, so the Pacific is safe.”

The detection points that there is a need to monitor more closely, the contamination levels across the Pacific and these long-lived radioisotopes will be historical markers for years to come to study ocean currents.

Levels today off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011.

The researchers will present their latest results next week at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.

Even the exclusion zones of Chernobyl and Fukushima aren’t as radioactive as the inside of a smoker’s lungs seriously.

Source: ScienceAlert