Tag Archives: Weapons Testing

North Korean Atmospheric Thermonuclear Test: How much contamination can we expect?

By Jay T. Cullen

The purpose of this post is to conduct a thought experiment to arrive at (I hope) a useful estimate of how much radioactive contamination might occur if North Korea detonates a thermonuclear weapon in the lower atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean.  There are a significant number of unknowns, not the least of which is the fundamental uncertainty as to whether the rogue nation has successfully tested a Teller-Ulam style thermonuclear weapon or not.  I explain my assumptions and compare the resulting global release of radioisotopes that represent a radiological health concern from such a test to the amounts recently released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) disaster, the Chernobyl disaster and aggregate atmospheric weapons testing in the last century. I invite comments and an accounting of the approach used here and how it might be improved. Continue reading North Korean Atmospheric Thermonuclear Test: How much contamination can we expect?

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Japan’s nuclear disaster didn’t affect fish or human health: B.C. scientist

by Camille Bains
The Canadian Press
Originally published in The Globe and Mail
14 Sept 2017

Radioactive contamination following a nuclear power-plant disaster in Japan never reached unsafe levels in the north Pacific Ocean for either marine life or human health, says a British Columbia scientist. Continue reading Japan’s nuclear disaster didn’t affect fish or human health: B.C. scientist

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

The Impact of the Fukushima on Canada: Health Canada Reports

By Jay T. Cullen

The purpose of this post is to bring to the attention of interested readers a recently released report that provides comprehensive account of the environmental radiation surveillance activities conducted by Health Canada in the months immediately following the Fukushima accident.  This report includes an assessment of the overall levels of contamination and resulting impacts to the health of Canadians.  Contrary to irresponsible and inaccurate rumors that Health Canada suspended monitoring in the wake of the triple meltdowns, monitoring activities were, in fact, enhanced and expanded to increase the flow of information and improve understanding of the implications of the contamination for environmental and public health.  While there was no discernible change in total background radiation a distributed system of monitoring stations and the rapid collection and measurement of environmental samples tracked the trace levels of atmospheric contamination across the country. The report concludes:

  1. conservative estimates of the maximum individual dose from Fukushima was less than 0.0003 (1/ 3,000) of the typical annual dose for a Canadian owing to natural background sources
  2. the additional dose resulting from Fukushima derived contamination is far less than the normal variation in dose from place to place in Canada
  3. there are likely to be no health impacts related to this small, incremental dose

Continue reading The Impact of the Fukushima on Canada: Health Canada Reports