A major international review of the state of the oceans 5 years after the Fukushima disaster shows that radiation levels are decreasing rapidly except in the harbour area close to the nuclear plant itself where ongoing releases remain a concern. At the same time, the review’s lead author expresses concern at the lack of ongoing support to continue the radiation assessment, which he says is vital to understand how the risks are changing.
March 11 will mark the five-year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, a series of nuclear meltdowns, triggered by a devastating earthquake-induced tsunami, that released massive amounts of radioactive material and resulted in the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Since then, the plant’s damaged drainage system has continued to leak radioactive water into the environment, and one of the biggest enduring public concerns has been the safety of fish caught in the area’s surrounding waters.
Interview with Ian Jessop on CFAX 1070 AM Radio in Victoria about newly published offshore monitoring data from InFORM and our partner project Our Radioactive Ocean. Interview begins at the 33:50 mark of the Soundcloud file below.
CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier at dock CCG base Victoria, BC.
Results from surface water samples collected in August 2014 during three oceanic research cruises are now available. These seawater samples were analyzed to characterize the distribution of Fukushima derived radionuclides 137-Cesium (137Cs half life ~30 years), and 134-Cesium (134Cs half life ~2 years). Based on the distribution of 134Cs, the Fukushima plume was not consistently present yet on the BC coast. It is likely that peak concentrations of radiocesium will be present offshore in the next year.