Center for Marine and Environmental Radiation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Feb. 2014: Models of ocean currents and cesium transport predict that the plume will arrive along the northern sections of the North American Pacific Coast (Alaska and northern British Columbia) sometime in the spring of 2014 and will arrive along the Washington, Oregon, and California coastline over the coming one to two years. [...] We expect levels of cesium-134 to become detectable in coming months, but the behavior of coastal currents will likely produce complex results (changing levels over time, arrival in some areas but not others) that cannot be accurately predicted by models. That is why ongoing support for long-term monitoring is so critical [...]
Huffington Post Live — Q: Does the disaster have the potential to disrupt the West Coast ecosystem entirely or at least in part? Tim Mousseau, Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at University of South Carolina: At this point it’s a huge unknown. [...] There’s suggestions that there may be pockets of high contamination that get carried relatively intact across the ocean, so these have the potential to lead to some contamination. […]
CKNW AM Vancouver — Tim Mousseau, University of South Carolina: In terms of fish from the West Coast, what we need to be doing is monitoring the ebb and flow of these pockets of high contamination [...] Given what we’re seeing off the coast of Japan right now with some of these new models and these new studies showing pockets of fairly concentrated materials can be carried relatively intact — even all the way across the ocean — there may be little patches of areas that are affected in a significant way.
See also: Professor on PBS: The Fukushima plume is heading to West Coast in "a consolidated mass of water that’s moving in unison" -- Study: Nuclear waste "confined to a narrow band" crossing ocean -- "Very little dispersion in eastern Pacific" (MAP)
Published: February 24th, 2014 at 2:57 pm ET