World Fukishima Radiation Off West Coast Increases


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When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a catastrophic breakdown in 2011 after being battered by a tsunami, a lot of Americans worried about radiation leaking from the plant and making its way across the Pacific into the waters off the North American coast.

Fukushima radiation did eventually show up off British Columbia the following year, according to a study published in 2014 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and it’s been continuing to drift this way ever since. Now, according to new research, an increased number of sites off the U.S. West Coast are showing signs of contamination from the crippled nuke plant.

That sampling includes the highest detected level to date, from waters about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco.

But before you stop eating fish caught in the Pacific, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Even that sample with relatively high radiation is about 500 times lower than the U.S. government’s safety standard for radioactivity in drinking water.

The research was conducted by Ken Buesseler, a marine radiochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and director of its Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity, who plans to present his findings at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco next week.

Read more here. (Discovery News)
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