Tag Archives: Our Radioactive Ocean

Update: Tracking the arrival of Fukushima derived contamination in the Pacific off North America

By Jay T. Cullen

Previously unpublished data results from research expeditions in 2014 and 2015 are summarized here.  Overall the data indicate that:

  1. Fukushima derived radiocesium was first detected 1500 km west of British Columbia Canada in June 2012
  2. Contamination was detected on the continental shelf (near coastal waters) in June 2013
  3. By February 2014 Fukushima radiocesium was present at levels similar to preexisting weapons testing derived 137Cs
  4. The timing of the arrival and levels of radiocesium in the contaminated plume are in reasonable agreement with existing ocean circulation model predictions
  5. 134Cs, a unique indicator of Fukushima impact given its ~ 2 year half life, increased in 2014 and 2015 relative to previous years indicating that peak concentrations are likely to arrive in 2016
  6. Maximum combined radiocesium activities (137Cs + 134Cs) offshore as of summer 2015 are 11 Bq m-3 of seawater are about 8-10 fold less than maximum activities measured in the 1960’s due to weapons testing fallout. Current levels do not represent a significant risk to ecosystem or public health

Continue reading Update: Tracking the arrival of Fukushima derived contamination in the Pacific off North America

Summer 2014 Offshore Monitoring for Fukushima Contamination

By Jonathan Kellogg and Jay T. Cullen

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.

Continue reading Summer 2014 Offshore Monitoring for Fukushima Contamination

Radioactivity In Our Ocean: Fukushima & Its Impact On The Pacific

The following presentation is for those interested in the most recent, scientifically rigorous, monitoring data related to the impact of the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster on the health of North Pacific Ocean ecosystem and inhabitants of western North America. Last evening, Sept. 14, 2015 Dr. Ken Buesseler and I reported on monitoring efforts through the Fukushima InFORM and Our Radioactive Ocean projects at a public lecture hosted by the Vancouver Aquarium. The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer period and discussion.

Link to the YouTube video is here in case of browser compatibility problems.

July 2015 InFORMal Monitoring Update

July 2015 CS update-web-01
InFORMal monitoring results for water samples collected in April/May 2015

Results* from April citizen science monitoring are now available from 8 of 11 (above: bold italics) of the current InFORM sampling locations. Additionally, two samples from May are available from Ucluelet and Port Renfrew. The Ucluelet sample was collected by the Ucluelet Aquarium for our partner organization, Our Radioactive Ocean, on May 7th and did contain trace amounts (0.5 Bq m-3) of the Fukushima fingerprint, 134Cs, with it’s short ~2 year half life.  The total level of activity from this sample is roughly half the activity of the February sample, which was the last time 134Cs was detected on the BC coast.   Continue reading July 2015 InFORMal Monitoring Update

Radiation from Fukushima reactor detected off Vancouver Island

Radiation from Fukushima reactor detected off Vancouver Island

Fukushima Dai-ichi radiation Vancouver
This satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Japan on Monday, March 14, 2011. Radiation from the leaking Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan has been detected on the shores of Vancouver Island. Scientists say it’s the first time since a tsunami in Japan four years ago that radiation has been found on the shorelines of North America. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)
 Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press


Published Monday, April 6, 2015 7:32PM EDT

VICTORIA — Radiation from the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor has been detected on the shores of Vancouver Island, four years after a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed 16,000 people.

University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen said Monday that it’s the first time radiation has been found on the shorelines of North America since the quake and tsunami ravaged the Japanese north coast and disabled the nuclear reactor. Continue reading Radiation from Fukushima reactor detected off Vancouver Island