Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fukushima Radiation Risks from Eating Fish - MINIMAL DUE TO DILUTION

Are radioactive substances from Fukushima being found in fish caught and sold in the United States?  Yes (see report) but the quantities found are minimal, well below what's considered to be safe levels.  See Stanford's report from May 2012 - http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/may/tuna-radioactive-materials-053012.html
Radioactive cesium from the 2011 Japanese nuclear disaster has been carried across the Pacific Ocean to California waters in the flesh of Pacific Bluefin tuna, say researchers from Stanford and Stony Brook University. Anglers reeled in the slightly radioactive fish off San Diego. The low levels of radioactivity are not thought to a pose a health risk to humans.
Could Fukushima radiation in U.S.-caught fish increase over time to levels that would present a significant health impact to individuals? In our judgment, the answer is “No” due to dilution of the radioactivity released from Fukushima in the vast waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The article goes on to publish a very long and detailed analysis from NRDC’s physicist Tom Cochran who looked at this issue of Fukushima and seafood caught off the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii.  It's worth reading the whole thing.
Case 2: Chronic Leakage into the Sea from Fukushima.  From samples of seawater, Jota Kanda of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology estimated last year that about 0.3 TBq of radioactive material are leaking into the sea each month. And in this article in New Scientist, Ken Buesseler says the Kanda estimate is probably the best he is aware of, and closely matches figures released on 21 August by TEPCO, of 0.1 to 0.6 TBq per month for cesium-137 and 0.1 to 0.3 for strontium.  At an average leak rate of 0.3 TBq/month, it would take more than 6,000 years to equal the 22 TBq release assumed under case one above. Consequently, the current chronic leaks do not increase the risks associated with consuming fish caught in waters off the west coast of the United States or Hawaii.

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