At 2:30 in
Anand Naidoo, CCTV anchor: From what we know about what is going on at the plant right now, is this going to get worse?
Dr. Janette Sherman, radiation expert: I hate say this, but yes I think it will. And my concern is the enormous amount of radioactive material flowing with the water into the Pacific Ocean. And we know that the ocean flows northward along Alaska and down the coast of Canada and the United States. And I think it probably will imperil the entire Pacific Ocean, and the the sea life that’s in it.
Naidoo: What you’re saying here is that this water can actually reach other shores, can reach other countries as well?
Sherman: Oh absolutely, we already know that.
Naidoo: The radioactive content in this water — does it dissipate, or does it just stay in the water all the time?
Sherman: Well both cesium and strontium have a half-life about thirty years. It takes 10 half-lives for each of these isotopes to decay down to nothing. We contaminate the plankton, and that’s eaten by shrimp and oysters and fish and mammals. And as most of these move up the food chain they get concentrated. Particularly strontium-90 gets concentrated in the bones.
Published: August 12th, 2013 at 8:40 pm ET