Radiation plume heading toward Hawaii, says Japan gov’t study — Fukushima-contaminated water to hit in under 2 years — Ocean may be 50% of EPA’s maximum contaminant level for drinking water (PHOTO)

Published: April 3rd, 2012 at 12:26 am ET


Title: Study: Radioactive water to reach Hawaii in 2 years
Source: AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
Date: April 03, 2012

Water contaminated by radioactivity that entered the sea from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will reach the Hawaiian Islands in March 2014, according to a computer simulation by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. […]

The researchers said 18,000 trillion becquerels of radioactive iodine and cesium have leaked from the plant into the sea.

The contaminated water will be carried by ocean currents, and the maximum radioactivity level in cesium-137 will be about 0.04 becquerel per liter when it nears the Hawaiian Islands, they said.

Read the report here

Though cesium-134 is not mentioned, it was released in comparable amounts to Cs-137. However, Cs-134 has a 2 year half-life, Cs-137 has a 30 year half-life.

After three years, Cs-134 will be at around 37.5% of original levels. Factoring in this decay rate to the 0.04 Bq/l gives a result of .015 Bq/l of radioactivity remaining from Cs-134.

The total 0.055 Bq/l of Cs-134 & -137 is equal to 1.49 picocuries per liter. (27.1 pCi = 1 Bq)

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Maximum Contaminant Level is 3 pCi/l:

“EPA lumps these gamma and beta emitters together under one collective MCL [Maximum Contaminant Level], so if you’re seeing cesium-137 in your milk or water, the MCL is 3.0 picocuries per liter; if you’re seeing iodine-131, the MCL is 3.0; if you’re seeing cesium-137 and iodine-131, the MCL is still 3.0.” –Forbes.com

See also: [intlink id=”watch-radioactive-plume-map-shows-fukushima-contamination-nearing-hawaii-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: April 3rd, 2012 at 12:26 am ET


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11 comments to Radiation plume heading toward Hawaii, says Japan gov’t study — Fukushima-contaminated water to hit in under 2 years — Ocean may be 50% of EPA’s maximum contaminant level for drinking water (PHOTO)

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    I think the Japanese government has done a good job at butchering their MCL readings already. Now to see if the US will follow suit. If they do it means things are as bad as we thought. With the releases into the ocean measuring in the trillions of becquerels the estimate of .04bq/liter seems grossly understated.

  • Lee Binder

    with debris already washing up and having been identified here, the probability that radioactivity has also arrived (and will continue to arrive) is pretty much 100% already .. the only question is the dilution, but beyond a certain concentration even the dilution does not matter anymore.

    Hawaii smothering in radioactivity, the Maldives under water – by-by island paradises .. time to wrap up, and leave for good.

  • I guess I better find a different hobby than SCUBA diving….and or just move. Sheesh, that pisses me off.

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      i hear you, stock. I know Hawaii only from pictures, but to see it being destroyed breaks my heart as well.

    • NoNukes NoNukes


      Me too. If the boat has made it to the west coast, then so has the radioactive water. Love the fog off the SF Bay, will try not to breathe today. Where to now?

  • This from physics forum……the most dangerous thing on earth can be disrupted by one single glass of tap water. INSANE!

    jim hardy jim hardy is offline

    Posts: 1,400
    PF Contributor PF Contributor
    Science Advisor Science Advisor

    Steam generator tubes are leaking thinning .
    This was a big problem stateside 1n 1970's.

    Chemistry of water on secondary side is extremely important.
    We measured impurities in parts-per–billion. One cup of tap water was enough to cause a shutdown to flush the steam generators, i know because one of our technicians used a cup of tapwater to top off a level instrument….. once.

    Metallurgy was important also. Copper contributed to corrosion.
    We replaced the admiralty brass tubes in condenser with titanium, and feedwater heaters with stainless steel.

    These lessons were learned almost forty years ago. Our replacement generators from Westinghouse-Tampa are doing fine.
    So – what's going on now? That's REAL good question.
    First question pops to mind is "Where did Mitsubishi procure the metal for the tubes in those replacement steam generators?"

    Second is "How's the plant's water chemistry ?"

    It'll be interesting to follow this one.

    Edited first line. sorry.

  • they are talking about the pacific which is one half of this planet. nice. well done.
    any idea on how to stop the ONGOING contamination?

  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

    And this news means that desalination is OUT.

  • drjamerica

    ok they may be close on the direction of the rad. plum http://youtu.be/xusdWPuWAoU is a cool map by nasa of currents in the ocean 1:20 into the vid it shows the current spiraling out between alaska and Hawaii. why do they think the radiation moves slower under water than on the surface is beyond me if trash is washing up on the west coast and if the sea weed off california is 500X hotter then it should be and thats not tracked to one of our plant failures than i say its already here!! id worry more about the ocean because the heavy nuclides are better suspended for travailing in salt water than air plus they bond to form a new contaminated compounds that last even longer! and taken in to the food chain off topic ? some were i read they may have putt spent fuel asy in ocean to cool them and concreted over them any body else?


    My wife and I were planning to renew our vows there on our 5th next year, another dream shattered :'(