Tag Archives: Health Canada

Health Canada/InFORM Analyses of the Radioactive Content of Fish Samples from Canada’s West Coast

This page mirrors information on the radionuclide content of fish measured by Health Canada and the InFORM project that can be found at Open Government, Open Data.

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Question and Answer: Public Discussion of Fukushima Impact on the West Coast of North America

By Jay T. Cullen

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Map showing the location of public talks for the InFORM project June 1-4, 2015.

The purpose of this post is to report on a recent public discussion tour to convey the latest results of the Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) network to residents of the north coast of British Columbia. This post continues a series aimed to report the results of scientific research into the impact of the Fukushima disaster on the environment. Between June 1-4, 2015 I traveled from Victoria up to Haida Gwaii, over to Prince Rupert and up the Skeena River to Terrace and gave 8 public talks to communicate the results of the networks monitoring efforts to determine the impact of the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns on the health of the northeast Pacific and residents of the North American west coast. I was able to meet three of our citizen scientist volunteers who have been collecting shoreline samples to look for Fukushima derived contamination of coastal seawater. The response to these presentations was overwhelmingly positive and the public asked very useful questions about monitoring thus far. Despite the overall usefulness of the discussions some old misinformation keeps rearing its head. Here I’ll show some of the beautiful spots on our coast and begin the process of addressing some more of the misinformation related to Fukushima impacts on the west coast. Continue reading Question and Answer: Public Discussion of Fukushima Impact on the West Coast of North America

Analysis of Beached Grey Whale in British Columbia for Fukushima Radioisotopes

By Jay T. Cullen

Grey Whale being dissected on Wickaninnish Beach April 23, 2015 (The Whale Centre)

The purpose of this post is to report analyses carried out by the InFORM project on muscle and blubber samples from a grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus), that beached near Tofino, BC on April 20, 2015. The post is the most recent in a series that aims to communicate results of scientific research into the impact of the Fukushima disaster on the environment. With the cooperation of the Ucluelet Aquarium the InFORM project was able to obtain samples of the whales muscle and blubber which were analyzed for the presence of gamma emitting radioisotopes in Health Canada’s laboratories in Ottawa, ON Canada. The gamma radiation spectra were dominated by naturally occurring radioisotopes, primarily Potassium-40 (40K half life 1.25 billion years), and after 24 hours of counting no Fukushima derived Cesium-134 (134Cs half life ~ 2 years), a fingerprint of the disaster in the environment could be detected. The unfortunate demise of the grey whale is very unlikely to have been the result of acute or chronic radiation exposure owing to Fukushima derived radionuclides in seawater and the whales food. Continue reading Analysis of Beached Grey Whale in British Columbia for Fukushima Radioisotopes