Monday, November 17, 2014

Radiation from Fukushima in Japan has been detected off the coast of North America

English: Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods H...
English: Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Radiation from Fukushima in Japan has been detected off the coast of North America at amounts thousands of times lower than acceptable levels in drinking water. The small amounts of cesium 134 were measured about 150 kilometres west of Eureka, California, by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as part of the U.S. organization’s regular monitoring of radioactivity in the ocean. Ken Buesseler, a research scientist at Woods Hole, said the samples measured less than two becquerels of cesium 134 from the radioactive plume sent into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant after damage from the 2011 earthquake and series of tsunamis released radiation into the atmosphere and ocean. A becquerel measures the rate at which radioactive material emits radiation and decays. Buesseler will officially present the results on Thursday at conference of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Vancouver. Buesseler and Woods Hole have also recruited about 50 local organizations and individuals in a citizen scientist program to take samples of sea water along the coast of North and Central America and Hawaii to send to Woods Hole for testing. More than six locations in B.C. are part of the program, including Bamfield and Haida Gwaii. In the U.S., the safe-drinking-water standard is 7,400 becquerels of cesium per cubic metre of water. In Canada, the standard is 10,000.
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