The coastal average concentration of cesium-137 is now at 2.7 Bq per m3 according to data from samples collected in October through December 2016 which are now available. The highest concentrations were sampled from Winter Harbour in December which, at 4 Bq per m3 is our second highest measured activity to date, after the initial detection back in February 2015. The lowest values continue to be from sites within the Strait of Georgia, at 1.7 Bq per m3.
Taking a closer look at the data recently, I noticed that the samples from the North Coast and Haida Gwaii didn’t respond quite respond in the same way throughout the timeseries. While I previously had lumped these data together, they are now separated since they may each tell part of the story of their local circulation. Read the full June update ->
More results from InFORM’s 2016 biotic monitoring results are now available and reveal that Fukushima contamination was not detected in sampled BC salmon after initial testing. These results are an update to the earlier report on the first 20 of the 123 fish donated by First Nations from 10 rivers in British Columbia and Yukon in 2016. Nine fish did have individual levels of 137Cs detected near the minimum detectable concentration (MDC). These levels (<0.7 Bq kg-1) are not known to present a significant health risk and are ~1,400x lower than the national and international action level (1000 Bq kg-1). For perspective, you would need to consume 1000-1500 kg of salmon at this concentration of cesium to receive the same radiation dose acquired during a single cross country flight. There has not been a significant increase to the total 137Cs concentration in BC salmon since InFORM monitoring began in 2014. Read the full 2016 update ->
The peak concentrations of the Fukushima plume are now nearing North American coastal waters according to the data collected in February 2016 along Line P. The highest concentrations are no longer measured at Station Papa, as they have been since it was first detected in June 2013. Rather, measured activities at Station Papa are now indicating the back side of the highest concentrations. Peak sea surface concentrations, the total of Fukushima radiation and remains from nuclear weapons testing, measured 8.3 Becquerels per cubic meter (Bq m-3) at station P8. This concentration is over 1,000 times lower than the 10,000 Bq m-3 level of concern according to Health Canada. Station P8, located ~200 km west of Tofino or nearly 300 km from the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca remains well off the continental shelf and we know from coastal samples collected at the end of 2016, discussed below, that this peak signal has not yet progressed to the coast. Read more ->
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