Interview about the InFORM project begins at 33m32s mark of the Soundcloud Player.
Tuesday, Dec. 30 2014, 9:07 PM EST
As radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power-plant disaster drifted across the Pacific, fears that salmon and other marine life could be contaminated spread along the British Columbia coast.
But samples gathered by citizen scientists and a more comprehensive study done by Fisheries and Oceans Canada indicate the levels of radiation are so low they pose almost zero risk to human or ecosystem health. Continue reading B.C. radiation risk from Fukushima disaster ‘insignificant:’ research
By Jay T. Cullen
@JayTCullen and @FukushimaInFORM
This short blog summarizes an open access paper published today reporting results from a Canadian monitoring program tasked with documenting the arrival of ocean borne Fukushima contamination along the North American Pacific coast. This diary is part of an ongoing effort to communicate the best science available on the impacts of the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns on the environment. High quality measurements to look for Fukushima derived radiocesium were made in seawater in the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans from 2011 to early 2014. The authors concluded that:
- Fukushima derived radiocesium was first detected 1500 km west of British Columbia Canada in June 2012
- Contamination was detected on the continental shelf (near coastal waters) in June 2013
- By February 2014 Fukushima radiocesium was present at levels similar to preexisting weapons testing derived 137-Cs
- The timing of the arrival and levels of radiocesium in the contaminated plume are in reasonable agreement with existing ocean circulation model predictions
- These same models predict that total radiocesium levels from weapons testing fallout and Fukushima will likely reach maximum values of ~3-5 Becquerel per cubic meter (Bq m-3 of seawater in 2015-2016 and then decline to fallout background level of ~1 Bq m-3 by 2021
- Fukushima will increase northeastern Pacific water to levels last seen in the 1980’s but does not represent a threat to environmental or human health
Radio interview related to broadcast by CBC Daybreak North on Dec. 10, 2014 by George Baker. The live radio broadcast highlights efforts of volunteer, citizen scientists Laurel Stueck (student) and Cheryl Paavola (Instructor and Science Lab Tech) at Northwest Community College – Prince Rupert collecting the first seawater sample there in November 2014.
Great to meet some our citizen scientist volunteers this evening at Ogden Pt to discuss the project and collect our first coastal ocean sample from the breakwater. Lots of great questions and discussion.