Tag Archives: Sockeye

Monitoring Fukushima Contamination in Pacific Salmon and Soil in British Columbia

Beautiful sockeye salmon photographed by Eiko Jones.

Seven years on, since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident, it is useful to start to bring together information from scientific studies of the impact of the contamination on the North American environment and its people. I recently wrote to communicate the most recent results of the Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide (InFORM) project. This post summarizes a recently published, peer-reviewed paper by colleagues lead by Dr. Krzyzstof Starosta of Simon Fraser University in BC working in parallel to InFORM. The open access paper was published in the Canadian Journal of Chemistry and was recently recognized with the  “Best Paper Award” by the journal. They studied the concentrations of anthropogenic radioisotopes (134Cs half-life ~2 years, 137Cs half-life ~30 years) and naturally occurring radioisotope 40K (half-life 1.25 billion years) in Pacific salmon (sockeye, chum and chinook) and in soil and roof debris collected in southern British Columbia to determine the local impact of the FDNPP accident.  Their results were as follows:

  • 134Cs (a fingerprint of Fukushima contamination) was not detected in any of the salmon samples
  • 137Cs was not detected in sockeye or chum salmon but was detected in all chinook with an average level of ~0.2 Bq kg-1
  • Annual dose from artificial radionuclides to a human consumer of chinook salmon was estimated to be ~1/300 of the dose owing to naturally occurring isotopes in the fish and ~1/30,000 of the annual dose experienced for all other natural sources by the average Canadian
  • Most soil samples contained 134Cs and 137Cs which was delivered to the region by atmospheric transport shortly after the disaster
  • Levels of Fukushima radioisotopes in soil did not approach levels known to be harmful to living organisms

Consistent with other monitoring in the area the results of the study indicate that given the trace levels of contamination present the impact of the FDNPP accident on ecosystem and public health in North America will be insignificant. Continue reading Monitoring Fukushima Contamination in Pacific Salmon and Soil in British Columbia

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No Fukushima Contamination in Alaskan Fish – 2017 Update

AlaskaDEC

No Fukushima contamination has been found in any of 12 fish sampled and tested by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in 2017. Sampled between March and July 2017, the Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus), Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus), Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), Herring (Clupea pallasii), and salmon (Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka), Chinook (O. tshawytscha), and Chum (O. keta)) were sampled from waters off the the Southeast panhandle to the Bering Sea.
Continue reading No Fukushima Contamination in Alaskan Fish – 2017 Update

One salmon found with Fukushima Contamination in 2016 After Extended Measurement

Extended testing of select 2016 salmon samples has identified the Fukushima-fingerprint isotope in one sample re-measured earlier this year.  The maximum level of contamination observed in a sample  (134Cs: 0.07 Bq kg-1137Cs: 0.51 Bq kg-1) is over 1,700 times lower than the Health Canada Action Level (1,000 Bq kg-1) and is not known to be a health risk for either humans or the environment.

Continue reading One salmon found with Fukushima Contamination in 2016 After Extended Measurement

No radiation from Japan’s Fukushima disaster found in BC fish

No radiation from Japan's Fukushima disaster found in B.C. fish
John Nightingale, president of the Vancouver Aquarium, said at a 2014 news conference by the Arctic char tank at Vancouver Aquarium that radiation levels are barely above background levels since the 2011 meltdown of nuclear reactors at Fukushima caused by the earthquake and tsunami.

By Bethany Lindsay
Vancouver Sun
Published 23 Feb 2016

Nearly five years after a massive earthquake resulted in the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, researchers in B.C. have found no detectable levels of contamination in fish along the West Coast.

Continue reading No radiation from Japan’s Fukushima disaster found in BC fish

Radiation from Fukushima nuclear disaster not found in B.C. salmon

‘The amount of radioactivity from these isotopes from Fukushima in our water or in our fish [is] a fraction of the count you’d get using a Geiger counter,’ University of Victoria’s Dr. Jay Cullen said. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)
‘The amount of radioactivity from these isotopes from Fukushima in our water or in our fish [is] a fraction of the count you’d get using a Geiger counter,’ University of Victoria’s Dr. Jay Cullen said. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)
By Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail
Published 23 Feb 2016

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, radioactive contaminants continue to circulate across the Pacific to Canada’s West Coast, but not at dangerous levels.

Continue reading Radiation from Fukushima nuclear disaster not found in B.C. salmon