Congress: Radiation might be detected in U.S. waters — “Could remain a valid concern for years” — Potential for corridor of “highly contaminated” water traveling away from Japan

Published: April 8th, 2012 at 12:00 am ET
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Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Dai-ichi on the U.S. Marine Environment
Congressional Research Service
Eugene H. Buck, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy
Harold F. Upton, Analyst in Natural Resources Policy
April 2, 2012

[...] there remains the slight potential for a relatively narrow corridor of highly contaminated water leading away from Japan and a very patchy distribution of contaminated fish―extensive monitoring will determine the exact dispersion of these radioactive contaminants. [...]

How Likely Is It That Radiation Will Reach U.S. Marine Waters, Through Either Ocean Currents or Atmospheric Transport?

Since radiation has been detected reaching various U.S. locations by atmospheric transport, rainfall is likely to already have introduced radioactive elements from the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident into U.S. marine waters. Transport by ocean currents is much slower, and additional radiation from this source might eventually also be detected in North Pacific waters under U.S. jurisdiction, even months after its release. Regardless of slow ocean transport, the long half-life of radioactive cesium isotopes means that radioactive contaminants could remain a valid concern for years. [...]

h/t Gregg Levine

Published: April 8th, 2012 at 12:00 am ET
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19 comments to Congress: Radiation might be detected in U.S. waters — “Could remain a valid concern for years” — Potential for corridor of “highly contaminated” water traveling away from Japan