Monday, October 28, 2013

Fukushima Radiation Threatens U.S. West Coast

Ken O’Brien

An ocean current called the North Pacific Gyre is bringing radiation from the Japanese Fukushima nuclear reactor to the West Coast of North America:




The leg of the Gyre closest to Japan – the Kuroshio current – begins right next to Fukushima:


While many people assume that the ocean will dilute the Fukushima radiation, a previously-secret 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents, and there could be “pockets” and“streams” of highly-concentrated radiation.

Physicians for Social Responsibility notes:

An interesting fact for people living on the US west coast is also included in the UNSCEAR [United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation] report: only about 5% of the directly discharged radiation was deposited within a radius of 80 km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. The rest was distributed in the Pacific Ocean. 3-D simulations have been carried out for the Pacific basin, showing that within 5–6 years, the emissions would reach the North American coastline, with uncertain consequences for food safety and health of the local population.
The University of Hawaii’s International Pacific Research Center created a graphic showing the projected dispersion of debris from Japan:



















Last year, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and 3 scientists from the GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences showed that radiation on the West Coast of North America could end up being 10 times higher than in Japan.















From Washington's Blog

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