Jacques Repussard, Director General of IRSN (Office of radiation protection in France): “It is obvious that for a long time, fishery products from the Pacific Ocean will have to be monitored in a rather large area. Why? Because even if radioactive pollution is concentrated in a small part of the Pacific Ocean, behind is the beginning of the food chain. We are forced to check what’s in the tuna, and fish to derive consumption standards acceptable when in fact we don’t know how to predict. Whereas in the field of agriculture for example, research was done after Chernobyl so we are able to predict.” >> Watch the film here
CBC Radio, ‘On the Coast’, Aug 12, 2014:
- 0:30 in — Jay Cullen, marine chemist, oceanographer and associate professor at University of Victoria’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences: Models that actually predict the distributions of ocean currents that are carrying contaminated seawater from the March 2011 disaster, those models suggest that the highest activity of these radionuclides that can present health hazards are due and arriving on our coast now — and that these concentrations will increase over the coming couple of years. So, understanding what those concentrations are and the timing of the arrival of this seawater plume that’s affected is really important for determine impact on the marine environment and also health risks for residents of Canada.
- 5:15 in — Stephen Quinn, host: When we first heard about the Fukushima disaster there was an immediate response of panic, as there should be of course. But I think we all thought ‘OK we’re doomed, this radioactive wash is going to spread across the Pacific and they’ll be no fish and the sea life will be dead.” That hasn’t happened, is there still a possibility of something like that happening?
- 5:45 in – Cullen: Well, one thing that we have to keep in mind is that while the release rates of these radioisotopes were the highest and greatest immediately following the disaster — the weeks and months following March 2011 — radioisotopes are still being released to the environment and directly to the Pacific Ocean in particular, at the site as we speak. Now those rates aren’t as great as they were early on in the disaster, but the disaster is ongoing and the Fukushima site — the reactors there are not secure and under control. And so there’s no end really, at this point, that we can predict to the leaking of those isotopes into the environment. And if conditions were to change dramatically at the Fukushima site, and more problems arose where rates increased, the release rates increased to the way they were in 2011, then that’s a cause for concern and that could increase health risks here along the coast in the coming years.
- Listen to the broadcast here
Fukushima Accident — Contamination of the Environment, IRSN (at 7:30 in): The Fukushima accident resulted in the largest release of radioactive substances every observed over a short period of time… The ocean currents disperse the radioactive pollutants away from Japan and towards the coast of the United States. Nevertheless, the area close to the shore of Fukushima is likely to remain polluted… >> Watch the film here
Published: August 17th, 2014 at 6:09 pm ET