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
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
By Jay T. Cullen
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