(NaturalNews) Debris from the decimated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan has been wafting toward the U.S. West Coast for years, ever since the plant was struck by a gigantic earthquake-generated tsunami three years ago this month.
Now, it is finally set to reach our shores, and it is bringing contamination with it.
According to reports, the radiation-tainted debris is set to arrive sometime next month, based on current models. And, already, the government's "models" are predicting that the amount of radiation will be miniscule.
USA Today reported:
Current models predict that the radiation will be at extremely low levels that won't harm humans or the environment, said Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who presented research on the issue last week.
Go ahead, be 'alarmist'
Hedging his bet, however, Buesseler -- along with some other scientists -- went on to say that more monitoring would be necessary, noting that no federal agency currently conducts sampling of Pacific Coast waters for radiation content (and a question at this point might be something like, "Why not?").
"I'm not trying to be alarmist," Buesseler told USA Today. "We can make predictions, we can do models. But unless you have results, how will we know it's safe?"
Being "safe" is not being "alarmist," for the record.
The field of debris heading towards the U.S. is enormous. When the tsunami struck, it flung 1.5 million tons of debris into the ocean; the portion heading toward the United States "is easily broader than Texas," Fox News reported. Currently, it is located about 1,700 miles off the Pacific coast, between California and Hawaii.
More from Fox News:
The debris ranges from pulverized particles to entire docks that washed over from Japan, to intact boats, motorcycles, soccer balls, traditional Japanese flooring, and even some Japanese sea creatures never seen on the U.S. West Coast. "High windage" items reached the Pacific Northwest as early as winter 2011. Smaller debris is "sailing" here on the tides -- NOAA estimates that the widely scattered detritus may show up intermittently along shorelines for a long period of time, over the next year or more.
But there's more, say experts.
'We've never seen this here before'
"At first we were only thinking about objects like the floating docks, but now we're finding that all kinds of Japanese organisms are growing on the debris," said John Chapman of the Marine Science Center at Oregon State University.
"We've found over 165 non-native species so far," he added. "One type of insect, and almost all the others are marine organisms... we found the European blue mussel, which was introduced to Asia long ago, and then it grew on a lot of these things that are coming across the Pacific... we'd never seen it here, and we don't particularly want it here," he said, noting that it might be "invasive" and displace resident marine life.
And there's more.
"In the debris we found the Northeastern sea star... as well as a type of brown algae that's used to make miso soup. We'd never seen it here before," Chapman told Fox News.
A 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan March 11, 2011, creating a monstrous tsunami with waves that reached 133 feet high. More than 16,000 people were killed, 6,000 more injured, and whole Japanese communities were obliterated.
And just last July, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, admitted for the first time that radiation-contaminated water from the crippled plant -- which will take decades to clean up, experts say -- was leaking into the ocean.
"Since then, the news has gotten worse, and there is widespread suspicion that the problem is underreported," USA Today reported.
Some estimates on the amount of leaked radiation, as noted by Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, are as high as 300 tons per day. Read his report here.