Fukushima Update

Sonia - February 27, 2014

Good news for lovers of Pacific seafood!

“We are not concerned for fisheries on the western coast of the United States and Canada because of the loss of the isotope [due to it’s half-life as it travels through the ocean] and because the water concentration is so much lower here than in Japan.” ~ Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic senior scientist

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has launched a crowd funded citizen science program to monitor the North American Pacific coast for radioactivity. There are no international or governmental monitoring plans, so this program fills a timely and important information gap.

Dr. Roger Gilbert, a radiation oncologist in Mendocino, Calif. raised funds to support analysis of his coastal community’s seawater.

“My motivation was concern over fear-mongering on the Internet about allegedly high levels of Fukushima radiation in the coastal waters of California. I am a radiation oncologist, more familiar than most with radioactivity, and it seemed highly likely that the vast dilution of radioisotopes from Fukushima by the Pacific Ocean would result in a barely (if at all) measurable rise in counts,” he says.

Just two weeks after launching the crowd sourcing campaign and citizen science website, “How Radioactive Is Our Ocean,” WHOI marine chemist Ken Buesseler’s project has received more than 70 individual donations from the concerned public.

Currently, the plume has not reached the coast, but the project is measuring background levels, which will be vital for comparison and long-term monitoring.

Haida Gwaii and Bamfield Marine center are two sampling locations in British Columbia that have already been funded through this project. Quarda island still requires additional support.

Check out their website to support the Quadra Island sampling location, to view current results, and to educate yourself about the impacts of radiation.

“The ocean contains many small sources of naturally occurring radiation that in most places exceeds the dose provided by radioisotopes released from Fukushima. In addition, the remnants of nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s and 70s are also still detectable around the world. Except for locations on land in Japan and sites near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, all of these sources combined pose little risk to human health.”

See more at https://ourradioactiveocean.org/.

Sonia - February 27, 2014

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Fukushima Update

Sonia - February 27, 2014

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