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Fukushima's radioactive waste reaches North America

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(NaturalNews) Radiation from the Fukushima explosion has reached North America. On April 12, 2015, scientists collected seawater with radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima meltdown. The samples were collected at Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, just north of the United States border, at the Ucluelet Aquarium. The report of the findings were made by Ken Buesseler, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), located in Cape Cod, Mass. He believes that the amount of radioactivity detected was many times smaller than that of a dental X-ray. Mainstream media sources such as Reuters have also commented on the findings.

History of the Fukushima power plant meltdown

Four years ago in March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami killed about 20,000 people and triggered an explosion at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The nuclear meltdown released cesium-134 and cesium-137, among other radioactive particles. Cesium-134 has a half-life of two years, but cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years. The oceans of the world contain trace amounts of cesium-137 ever since the atomic testing done in the 1950s and 1960s. High levels of strontium-90 were also released at that time.

Radiation monitoring in North America

Buesseler has set up a citizen science initiative monitoring the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast of the United States and in Alaska and Hawaii. Over 400 volunteers have sent samples collected from their boats, beaches and docks to the Massachusetts lab. Many have contributed to the Kickstarter campaign to support the testing, as the costs per test range from $550 to $600. A Canadian program named INFORM is also monitoring radiation at more than 12 locations on the Canadian Pacific shoreline. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography is also collecting and submitting water samples. Contributions to this ongoing campaign came be made at OurRadioactiveOcean.org.

How much radiation from Fukushima has reached North America?

At the time of the testing on Feb. 19, 2015, trace amounts of both cesium-134 and cesium-137 were collected. Similar levels were detected 100 miles off the coast of Big Sur, California, during the summer of 2014. The water contained 1.4 becquerels per cubic meter of cesium-134 and 5.8 becquerels per cubic meter of cesium-137. Buesseler stated, "We doubled the amount of cesium we measured and did a calculation[;] if you were to swim six hours a day every day of the year, at the end of the year, the dose you would receive would be more than a thousand times smaller than getting a single dental X-ray." He went on to state, "Personally I would be happy to swim in those waters and eat the local seafood. Those levels are extremely low."

Strontium-90 radioactivity

Strontium-90 is another radioactive isotope and a subject of greater concern than cesium. While cesium is easily flushed from fish tissue, strontium is stored in bones. There was a record high level of strontium-90 sampled from groundwater in Fukushima in July 2013, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco.

About the author:

Talya Dagan is a health advocate and health coach, trained in nutrition and gourmet health food cuisine, writing about natural remedies for disease and nutrition and herbal medicine. You can follow her blog at TalyaDagan.com.


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About the author:
Talya Dagan is a health advocate and health coach, trained in nutrition and gourmet health food cuisine, writing about natural remedies for disease and nutrition and herbal medicine. You can follow her blog at www.talyadagan.com

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