Tracking Fukushima radiation across the Pacific

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Image credit: Bedford Institute of Oceanography

 

 

It took just over two years for the radioactive plume from Fukushima, Japan, to travel via ocean currents and reach the shores of North America, researchers say.

A radiation plume from the March, 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan took about 2.1 years to travel via ocean currents and ultimately cross the waters of the Pacific Ocean to reach the shores of North America. That’s according to to a study published at the end of 2014 (December 29) by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

Following the March 11, 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami in the Pacific Ocean, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant released cesium 134 and cesium 137 into the ocean. Researchers knew that a small percentage of this radioactive material would be carried by currents across the Pacific, eventually reaching the west coast of North America. Continue reading

Radioactivity from crippled Fukushima reactors turns up off B.C. coast

VANCOUVER — Radioactivity from Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors has turned up off the British Columbia coast and the level will likely peak in waters off North America in the next year or two, according to a Canadian-led team that’s intercepted the nuclear plume.

The team’s seawater measurements reveal Fukushima radioactivity first showed up 1,500 kilometres west of British Columbia in June 2012, more than a year after the Japanese nuclear accident. Continue reading