Fukushima radiation monitoring is indicating that concentrations may be slightly decreasing from their peak in January 2018. Levels remain well below those known to be a considerable ecological and health risk, according to the latest monitoring data. The new data, collected between June and September 2018, are from samples collected through our citizen science monitoring network in sixteen coastal communities from Victoria to Lax Kw’alaams.
Read the full November update ->
Extended testing of select 2017 salmon samples was unable to identify the Fukushima-fingerprint isotope, 134Cs, in any of the 123 salmon that were sampled. However, we were able to detect the secondary isotope, 137Cs that is also present in the environment from atmospheric weapons testing in the 1960s, at levels about 1,000 times lower than the Health Canada Action Level (1,000 Bq kg-1) and is not known to be a health risk for either humans or the environment.
Last fall, approximately 100 salmon were sampled from hatcheries and donated from our First Nations partners around BC and Yukon. These samples are currently undergoing testing and we anticipate results to be available later this winter or early spring. Shellfish sampling also continued from ten aquaculture and traditional harvest locations in 2018. These samples will be processed when the analyses on the salmon are complete.
Data from August 2017 research cruises show that the highest concentrations of the Fukushima contamination plume remain offshore. Peak concentrations of 4.9 Bq m-3 were measured along Line P nearly 550 km due west of Vancouver. These concentrations are one and a half times what was concurrently measured in coastal waters. Further out, towards Station Papa at 50 N 145 W, concentrations are lower which indicates the the center of the Alaska Gyre and outside of the main flow from the North Pacific Current. Based on a comparison of the peak concentrations sampled along Line P between August 2015 (9.3 Bq m-3), August 2016 (6.3 Bq m-3), and now August 2017 (4.9 Bq m-3) we see a decreasing trend. This trend indicates that peak signal from the Fukushima plume as has passed through Line P and further observations are resolving the back side of the plume and/or possibly recirculation from the Alaska Gyre. Read more ->
Interested in older samples? Check out our archive!