Tag Archives: InFORM

Should we be worried about Fukushima radiation?

ap-japan-nuclear
This Jan. 12, 2016 photo, shows No. 3 nuclear reactor, bottom, at Takahama nuclear power station in Takahama town in Fukui prefecture, northwestern Japan. Japan has restarted a nuclear reactor that burns plutonium-based fuel for power generation, first under the post-Fukushima safety rules. The No. 3 reactor at Takahama nuclear plant in western Japan, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., becomes the first one using plutonium-uranium hybrid fuel known as MOX to go back online since the 2011 meltdowns at Fukushima. (Photo: AP)

by Mary Bowerman and Tracy Loew
USA Today
Published 9 Dec 2016

For the first time, seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected on the West Coast of the United States.

The levels are very low and shouldn’t harm people eating fish from the West Coast or swimming in the ocean, according to Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

Continue reading Should we be worried about Fukushima radiation?

Results from 2016 InFORM Biotic Monitoring – Shellfish and Vancouver Island Salmon

Results from 2016 shellfish monitoring show no 134-Cs or 137-Cs contamination in shellfish tissues.
Results from 2016 shellfish monitoring show no 134-Cs or 137-Cs contamination in shellfish tissues.

Results from the shellfish meat and first 20 salmon samples collected in 2016 reveal an absence of Fukushima radiation. Shellfish from four species were collected from many of British Columbia’s major shellfish aquaculture regions from Prince Rupert to the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. These results are from just the meat of the shellfish and additional analysis of the crushed shell is currently ongoing. The four types of molluscs (Pacific Scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis), Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas), Northern Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis and a hybrid with M. galloprovincalis), and Manila Clam (Venerupis philippinarum)) were chosen for analysis because previous work in other tropical species has shown that bivalves bioaccumulate cesium at rates faster than many other organisms. This work on tropical species did find that much of the cesium contamination was located in the shell so we await the results of the ongoing shell analyses. The absence of contamination in the edible meat from any of the species is reassurance to the $25 million aquaculture industry of BC that their product is safe to send to market and safe for human consumption. Continue reading Results from 2016 InFORM Biotic Monitoring – Shellfish and Vancouver Island Salmon

Pushing the Limit: Fukushima Fingerprint Isotope Found in Salmon from 2015

Results of the 2015 InFORM biotic monitoring program with updated results (larger, bold italics) where individual fish samples were reanalyzed in search of the Fukushima fingerprint isotope, 134-Cs.
Results of the 2015 InFORM biotic monitoring program with updated results (larger, bold italics) where individual fish samples were reanalyzed to determine the presence of the Fukushima fingerprint isotope, 134-Cs.

For the first time, the Fukushima fingerprint isotope, cesium-134 (134Cs; half-life ~ 2 years), has been detected at an extremely low level in a Canadian salmon by the InFORM project. The single sockeye salmon that tested positive was sampled from Okanagan Lake in the summer of 2015, according to scientists from the Radiation Protection Bureau at Health Canada, in cooperation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and local First Nations.  The sample was one of a few (8 out of 156 total) individual fish that had trace levels of the longer lived  cesium-137 (137Cs) (30 yr half-life) that we reported on last winter. To determine if this trace 137Cs was from Fukushima or remnant from atmospheric weapons testing, InFORM reexamined these individual fish samples to see if extremely low levels of 134Cs may be present. The results of this extended analysis show that trace (0.07 Bq kg-1) levels of 134Cs were detected in one sample from Okanagan/Columbia River population. No 134Cs was detectable in the other samples. The observed levels remain well below the action level (1000 Bq kg-1) set by Health Canada guidelinesContinue reading Pushing the Limit: Fukushima Fingerprint Isotope Found in Salmon from 2015