California Coastal Commission downplays fears about Fukushima-derived ocean radiation

The California Coastal Commission has released a report saying that waterborne radiation levels off its coast from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident are "far below that of naturally-occurring radioactive elements in the ocean".

"Over the last three years, the radioactive ocean plume has been carried eastward by ocean currents, becoming increasingly diluted as it spreads over an ever-larger area and mixes to greater depths," the report states. "The leading edge of the plume appears to have reached North America off of Vancouver Island, and could possibly reach California within the next year."

The report notes that Fukushima-derived radionuclides, chiefly cesium 137, are "expected to be only slightly above the pre-accident background".

Cesium 137 has a half-life of 30 years.

"Radioactive cesium derived from Fukushima has been detected at low levels in the tissues of highly-migratory fish species such as Pacific Bluefin tuna, which appear to have accumulated the cesium in their juvenile rearing grounds in the western Pacific," the report adds.

It also points out that levels of Fukushima-derived radionuclides in air, drinking water, food, seawater, and marine life in California "are extremely low relative to the pre-existing background from naturally-occurring radionuclides".

This "supports the idea that it will pose little additional risk to humans or marine life".

"However," the report cautions, "it should be noted that the long-term effects of low-level radiation in the environment remain incompletely understood, and that this understanding would benefit from increased governmental support for the monitoring of radioactivity in seawater and marine biota and the study of health outcomes linked to radiation exposure."

Comments (13) Add New Comment
Glowin Now
How do you like your fish? Well done with a side of cesium..........thank you.
24
28
Rating: -4
Jay
Once again, the Georgia Straight picks up the slack, while corporate media outlets fall flat on their face...

Here is a good article explaining why there is no safe level of radiation...

http://radiationprevention.com/safe-level-manmade-radiation/
22
24
Rating: -2
Yellowroz
Note the careful use of the present tense here. Their scope seems to continue to be confined to the events of the week of March 11, 2011; not the ongoing groundwater and surface runoff ongoing since. The initial plume is not expected to reach California coastlines for some months. As contaminated groundwater is documented as continuing to flow in to the sea, it is not a good idea to wait until the entire Pacific is contaminated to take note. Also, hot particles do not "dilute". Cesium is being used as an indicator pollutant, as it is cheap and easy to meter - but this was an industrial disaster and they don't really know what is being leaked. (And 'calm-ist' articles like this will not lead to better investigation/mitigation.) Sr-90, taken up in vertebrates like calcium and concentrated in the shells of invertebrates like lobsters and crabs (see: Sellafield), will continue to cycle through the marine ecosystem as these organisms die - prematurely or not. The ALPS water treatment system is down again. The US is not testing the Pacific because, according to Dr. Ken Buessler, NOAA is responsible for monitoring the ocean, but not for radioactivity; and EPA is responsible for monitoring for radioactivity, but not the ocean. TEPCO is testing the "ice wall" which is supposed to divert uncontaminated groundwater around the destroyed corium. The hastily-constructed tank farm, like most tank farms, has operator issues. They are facing a "storage crunch" of pumped contaminated stored water, because the ALPS won't work.Please see http://www.fukushima-blog.com/article-the-geology-of-fukushima-88575278.... and scroll down for the groundwater of Fukushima in section.
24
21
Rating: +3
Read that again...
"it should be noted that the long-term effects of low-level radiation in the environment remain incompletely understood"

Know doubt , the earth was flat no more than a hundred years ago and people thought we came from apes...until that one skeleton was found dating way back.... Science changes to fit status quo now. Next week my green glowing balls will be a sign of fertility.
19
25
Rating: -6
Uh huh
I see. So because California has studied this and we have not, we'll use their report? Come GS. Schwarzenegger is also a US citizen from Cali who calls Vancouver 'Hongcouver'. Perhaps you can do your own research next time. I'm unlikely to buy anything that comes from California in terms of 'news'. You don't have me reassured in any way.
21
21
Rating: 0
JM
They downplay it for obvious reasons...... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
20
21
Rating: -1
blah
Actually JM, they aren't a bunch of paranoid lefties in California. Well, most of them anyway.
18
18
Rating: 0
the whole truth?
I'm afraid this level of radiation and wide spread contamination is not a can that can be kicked down the road any further.
How foolish you are...how very very foolish.
18
20
Rating: -2
Ken
There was a fire last night at Fukushima but no news mentions it (big surprise)
17
17
Rating: 0
M
How many people believe what the gov't tell us?
16
18
Rating: -2
Cancer Boy
Thank you, sir, may I have another?
16
18
Rating: -2
Bruce Conway
The industry is naturally trying to protect itself through disinformation and accusations of radiophobia and unfounded hysteria. Real science on the matter is few and far between, although ENENews.com, Fairewinds.com, Christopher Busby llrc.org and others have been on the case since day one.

There is no safe dose of radiation for humans. Persistent low-level radiation is dangerous. Fukushima will have an effect on the West Coast of North America. A single particle of Plutonium can kill. Plutonium from Fukushima has been found in California. Even though only Cesium-137 is being measured, there are hundreds of other damaging long-lived isotopes that are not being reported. Even if background radiation was exactly the same as it was before Fukushima, the makeup of that background radiation has now changed into a mix of Chernobyl and Fukushima isotopes that did not exist during bomb testing.

Three years later and we see that there really is no solution to Fukushima. We see no actual working solutions, just leaks, and continual leaks at that, with no stoppage and no long-term solution for stoppage of radioactive effluence. We are left with a vague and probably unfounded hope for some kind of natural remediation in the way of dilution. We forget that these are man-made particles, some with half lives of billions of years on a planet with only about 4.3 or so billion years to go. So, these isotopes - - little bullets (background radiation, hot particles, buckyballs)- -, barring alien intervention or a future now-undiscovered technology will be travelling through air, wind, snow, rain, water, milk, tea, rice, imported cars, on the soles of shoes and people (dead and alive) for billions of years.

Some will morph into daughter particles, as they are now doing, but the daughter particles can be more damaging than the source isotope.

Either way, our little band of 7 billion are at an important crossroads where we find our village under attack by an invisible enemy that is too horrid to mention. It divides populations and appears more as a disease of the mind than an actual fact. We ask ourselves: am I really just going crazy, or did humans finally succeed in permanently nuking themselves to death?

You already see companies inventing special clothing for radiation incidents. One day, we will all have to wear space suits.
20
20
Rating: 0
Lastsister
Oh, I don't think there will be a "One day we will.............." anything. It will spread through the weather patterns around the world. I am not eating any salt water fish, I don't care where it comes from. Watch the water sloshing around in a swimming pool and tell me it only stays at one side.
13
21
Rating: -8
Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.