California Coastal Commission downplays fears about Fukushima-derived ocean radiation

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      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."

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      Glowin Now

      May 20, 2014 at 3:32am

      How do you like your fish? Well done with a side of cesium..........thank you.


      May 20, 2014 at 4:56am

      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 and scroll down for the groundwater of Fukushima in section.

      Read that again...

      May 20, 2014 at 6:51am

      "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.

      Uh huh

      May 20, 2014 at 7:30am

      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.


      May 20, 2014 at 7:59am

      They downplay it for obvious reasons...... $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


      May 20, 2014 at 12:46pm

      Actually JM, they aren't a bunch of paranoid lefties in California. Well, most of them anyway.

      the whole truth?

      May 20, 2014 at 5:29pm

      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 very very foolish.


      May 20, 2014 at 5:33pm

      There was a fire last night at Fukushima but no news mentions it (big surprise)


      May 21, 2014 at 1:15am

      How many people believe what the gov't tell us?