(NaturalNews) Fallout from the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in northern Japan in March 2011 continues to mount, as scientists now estimate that radioactive materials from the contaminated site are likely to reach North American shores later this year.
"Following the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, large amounts of water contaminated with radionuclides, including Cesium-137, were released into the Pacific Ocean. With a half-life of 30.1 years, Cs-137 has the potential to travel large distances within the ocean," says the abstract of a recent study produced by researchers from Australia, France and Spain.
"Using an ensemble of regional eddy-resolving simulations, this study investigates the long-term ventilation pathways of the leaked Cs-137 in the North Pacific Ocean," said the abstract, adding that the scientists believe that, based on their projections, the radioactive materials "are projected to reach the northwestern American coast and the Hawaiian archipelago by early 2014."
The researchers also concluded that, based on modeling, the radioactive materials are likely to plague U.S. and international waters for some time.
"This late but prolonged exposure is related to subsurface pathways of mode waters, where Cs-137 is subducted toward the subtropics before being upwelled from deeper sources along the southern Californian coast," said their abstract. "The model suggests that Fukushima-derived Cs-137 will penetrate the interior ocean and spread to other oceanic basins over the next two decades and beyond."
Still, the naysayers
Other scientists are saying, however, that radiation levels off the U.S. West Coast are actually declining, and that Fukushima fallout "never approached levels that could pose a risk to human health, seafood or wildlife," San Diego's Fox affiliate reported, adding:
Experts have been trying to dispel worries stemming from a burst of online videos and blog posts in recent months that contend radiation from Fukushima is contaminating beaches and seafood and harming sea creatures across the Pacific.
"There is no public health risk at California beaches due to radioactivity related to events at Fukushima," the California Department of Public Health said in a statement.
But for how long will this narrative hold up, given the fact that the stricken plant's owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., is still under fire because of the continued leaking of radioactive materials? The Japan Daily Press reported January 6:
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the disaster stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, one of them is the continuous leaking of radioactive waste water into the ground beneath the plant and into the Pacific Ocean[emphasis added]. A former employee in the facility has come out saying that one of the reasons for the leaks may be the cost-cutting measures being applied by TEPCO, such as using duct tape and wire nets to mend the leaking tanks.
"I couldn't believe that such slipshod work was being done, even if it was part of stopgap measures," said the former employee, Yoshitatsu Uechi, 48, who is currently an auto mechanic and tour bus driver.
Radiation still a problem, especially around Fukushima
As long as the damaged plant continues to leak radioactive materials into the ocean, not just the U.S. but all nations will continue to be threatened with a health disaster. As noted by Natural News' Rebecca Winters, radiation is still affecting marine life, especially around the disaster zone:
The Japanese government-affiliated Fisheries Research Agency just announced on January 10th that it had caught a black seabream fish contaminated with 12,400 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium - an amount 124 times higher than the safety standard. Two other black seabreams were found to breach the 100 Bq/kg limit at 426 Bq/kg and 197 Bq/kg.
Stories like this only confirm that Fukushima radiation is not decreasing but continuing to accumulate.
The Fukushima site was heavily damaged by a major tsunami March 11, 2011, which formed in the aftermath of a 9.0 earthquake.