Southern California had 2,500 Bq/kg of iodine-131 in seaweed — Over 500% higher than other tests in U.S., Canada

Published: March 30th, 2012 at 2:37 am ET
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UPDATED HERE: Study Author: California iodine-131 probably double or triple what we reported


Title: Canopy-Forming Kelps as California’s Coastal Dosimeter: 131I from Damaged Japanese Reactor Measured in Macrocystis pyrifera (ACS Publications)
Source: Environmental Science & Technology
Author: Steven L. Manley and Christopher G. Lowe, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University
Publication Date (Web): March 6, 2012

Corona Del Mar (Highest in Southern California)

  • 2.5 Bq/gdwt (gram dry weight)= 2,500 Bq/kg of dry seaweed

Santa Cruz (Highest in Central California)

  • 2.0 Bq/gdwt = 2,000 Bq/kg of dry seaweed

Simon Fraser University in Canada also tested North American seaweed after Fukushima:

  • “In samples of dehydrated seaweed taken on March 15 near the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, the count was zero; on March 22 it was 310 Bq per kilogram; and by March 28 it was 380 Bq/kg.” -Vancouver Sun
  • Seaweed in Seattle also tested positive for iodine-131; levels were not reported -KIRO
  • No results after March 28 were reported
Published: March 30th, 2012 at 2:37 am ET
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20 comments

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20 comments to Southern California had 2,500 Bq/kg of iodine-131 in seaweed — Over 500% higher than other tests in U.S., Canada

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Sad that Corona Del Mar got the most radiated.


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  • goathead goathead

    This is indeed shocking proof that the Pacific has been permeated from East to West! But what about the levels in fish then? What were the levels in Californian seaweed before Fukushima? Were they periodically tested then for radionuclides or only since Fuku? Could these levels be the result of California's reactors over the years?

    Either way, after looking at the results of ongoing scientific research into Chernobyl's legacy, we can safely expect the worst to keep unfolding!! We have truly taken the biggest piss of all so far in our beautiful pond!!!!!!


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    • If it was cesium there would be more difficulty proving the source was not California nuke plant releases. Because iodine 131 (131I) is a much shorter lived radionuclide, the evidence of when the levels rise and fall can show very good proof of what the source of contamination was.


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    • “In samples of dehydrated seaweed taken on March 15 near the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, the count was zero; on March 22 it was 310 Bq per kilogram; and by March 28 it was 380 Bq/kg.” -Vancouver Sun
      This is increasing as the fallout !


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    • Auntie Nuke

      Okay, here's the question: The March 15 is from which year? Is this a recent study? Or are the figures from one year ago? It makes no sense that it's Iodine showing up now because with a half-life of 8 days, it has an effective radioactive life of 80 days (factor of 10). So if Iodine is showing up on March 15, 2012, what's the newly leaking source? If from a year ago, why is it taking so long to show up? Anyone clear on this?


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  • itsfukncommunism itsfukncommunism

    wow, that was just from rainout and fallout, theres no way that was from radiated ocean water transversing the pacific, the land should reflect higher numbers than that now.


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    • goathead goathead

      But if it's the case this was a result from rainout and fallout, then crops would surely be reflecting far higher numbers, no? Rain will dilute to a degree when it hits the sea but on land I imagine it's going to leave the radionuclides behind in the soil to be taken up by vegetation, no?


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      • ENENews

        Apparently seaweed takes in more iodine than crops. Also, the iodine decays quickly so it would only be showing up for a short period.


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        • Bobby1

          Iodine-131 has a short half-life of 8 days, so it pretty much disappears after 80 days. But iodine-129 is also a fission product, and has a half-life of 15 million years. Nobody ever measures I-129. Even if the 129 is a tiny percentage of the 131 amount, it will accumulate in seaweed over time.


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  • milk and cheese milk and cheese

    Seaweed is a terrific source of iodine.


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  • stopnp stopnp

    I recall the Japanese ingesting kelp for it's ability to block radioactive iodine from the thyroid. Hiroshima is what prompted it. Too bad the kelp is full of radiation now


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  • stopnp stopnp

    I can see CDM beach in my head. That beach is beautiful. This all seems like a dream. I really wish it was just a bad dream.


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  • CaMom

    So according to my terrible math:
    http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/ionizing.html
    http://www.radprocalculator.com/Conversion.aspx

    12.46mSv approx effective dose in Santa Cruz using above sites if you ate 1 gram I think. So that's like being a nuc plant worker for 2.492 months (freely mixing conversions in ways never before thought of.) Eat 4.82 grams back then and you are nuc max for a year???

    What else does kelp absorb?
    High in Calcium = Cesium
    Iron = Plutonium
    Magnesium = ?
    Darn, I loved seaweed.


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    • SnorkY2K

      Did you allow for the gamma emission that occurs when a majority of the Xe-131 decays from its meta-state to its stable state? That should double your estimate.


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  • Auntie Nuke

    And here's a clue: it was published by the authors on March 6, 2012, but the data is from March 15. Prescient? Or last year's numbers? We really have to be clear on this stuff or risk discrediting the valid information.


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  • glowfus

    o.k., now i have to take a break from enenews. too much to digest, thanks, and have great weekend.


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  • drjamerica

    i was under the impression that when certain nuclides enter the body it slowed there decay or increased there half life is that true?


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