Fukushima Contamination Hits US & Canada, Readings Near Peak Estimate Range

Woods Hole announced some recent findings of Fukushima identified radioactive contamination found offshore in the US and Canada. The test samples were collected seven months ago, with the exception of sample CS109 that remains undated. The press release provided no actual data except the undated CS109 sample, but insisted it was “trace” amounts. and “well below internationally established levels of concern to humans and marine life” but did not cite any sources for this claim. 

Pacific contamination levels during 1960’s atomic bomb testing in the Pacific reached 30 bq/m3.
Various studies have indicated radiation levels off the US/Canadian Pacific coast could reach 10-30 bq/m3 after Fukushima based on early understanding of the radiation releases from Daiichi. Those ocean releases were admitted to be much longer in duration by TEPCO in late 2013 and again in 2014. There is also a wide variance in estimated total releases to the sea, making projections more complicated.

Combined cesium readings off the northern California coast were at 8.1 bq/m3 in August of 2014. This reading is already close to the lower end of the projected peaks of contamination. There also appears to be some difference between contamination and the depth the reading is taken at. More of the cesium 134 findings were at shallower depths. Most of these readings were also from July and August of 2014.

The phase of 2014-2015 is considered the early onset of the contamination plume reaching the US west coast. Compounding the issues with the data sets is that locations are not being testing repeatedly over the years in many cases. Locations north of Hawaii that had detected Fukushima related contamination in 2013 were not re-tested in 2014 or 2015. There is also the problem that cesium 134 has a short half life and may decay below detection while cesium 137 would continue to show increases. If cesium 134 is being used as the only “proof” of a problem, it would be an over all inaccurate assumption. Some early 2014 readings taken off the North American coastlines may prove useful if follow up testing is done later at those locations.

Much distraction has been made by WHOI trying to convince the public that these radiation levels are not some variety of Hollywood scary movie style of dangerous, insinuating that it wouldn’t make you suddenly sick swimming in the ocean and similar odd claims. Meanwhile no serious discussion of the evolving situation or comparisons to actual scientific projections is being presented to the public. Samples appear to be rising with some nearing the peak predictions early in the expected plume phases. The data itself is useful and should continue. The condescending public engagement out of Woods Hole has worn out its welcome.

Below are the related 2014 findings mentioned in the WHOI press release and come from the OurRadioactiveOcean web site

CS109, Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates: 48.94, -125.55
Cs137*: 5.8 ± 0.2Bq/m3
Cs134*: 1.4 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling

F#5049
Coordinates: 41.46, -126.18
Sample Date: Aug 07, 2014 12:00
Depth: 20
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*6.4 ± 0.2Bq/m3
Cs134*1.7 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5038
Coordinates: 44.96, -132.35
Sample Date: Aug 05, 2014 12:00
Depth: 20
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*2.5 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*0.3 ± 0.05Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5036
Coordinates: 45.93, -134.56
Sample Date: Aug 04, 2014 12:00
Depth: 75
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*2.9 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*0.7 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling

F#5037
Coordinates: 45.93, -134.56
Sample Date: Aug 04, 2014 12:00
Depth: 15
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*3.5 ± 0.2Bq/m3
Cs134*0.5 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5035
Coordinates: 46.28, -135.32
Sample Date: Aug 04, 2014 12:00
Depth: 150
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*2.8 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*0.3 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5032
Coordinates: 47.28, -137.64
Sample Date: Aug 03, 2014 12:00
Depth: 25
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*3.5 ± 0.2Bq/m3
Cs134*0.6 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5031
Coordinates: 47.92, -139.24
Sample Date: Aug 03, 2014 12:00
Depth: 100
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*3.9 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*0.7 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5030
Coordinates: 48.23, -140.05
Sample Date: Aug 03, 2014 12:00
Depth: 20
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*4.6 ± 0.2Bq/m3
Cs134*0.9 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5026
Coordinates: 49.12, -142.56
Sample Date: Aug 02, 2014 12:00
Depth: 15
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*4.6 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*1.2 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5022
Coordinates: 49.97, -145.16
Sample Date: Aug 02, 2014 12:00
Depth: 250
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*4.1 ± 0.2Bq/m3
Cs134*0.9 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5024
Coordinates: 49.97, -145.16
Sample Date: Aug 02, 2014 12:00
Depth: 125
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*4.0 ± 0.2Bq/m3
Cs134*0.9 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5025
Coordinates: 49.97, -145.16
Sample Date: Aug 02, 2014 12:00
Depth: 25

Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.
Cs137*3.6 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*0.7 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5017
Coordinates: 51.46, -150.6
Sample Date: Aug 01, 2014 12:00
Depth: 25
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*4.0 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*1.1 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling
F#5015
Coordinates: 51.9, -152.49
Sample Date: Jul 31, 2014 12:00
Depth: 100
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*2.0 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*0.5 ± 0.1Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling

F#5016
Coordinates: 51.9, -152.49
Sample Date: Jul 31, 2014 12:00
Depth: 20
Thanks to: Captain Curtis Collins, RV Point Sur, Moss Landing Marine Lab.

Cs137*2.2 ± 0.1Bq/m3
Cs134*0.2 ± 0.2Bq/m3
*decay corrected to date of sampling

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