Scientists Assess Radioactivity in the Ocean from Japan Nuclear Power Facility, National Science Foundation (NSF) News, December 9, 2011:
[...] a new study by U.S. and Japanese researchers analyzes the levels of radioactivity discharged in the first four months after the accident. [...]
- The release of radioactivity from Fukushima–both as atmospheric fallout and direct discharges to the ocean–represents the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history.
- Concentrations of cesium-137, a radioactive isotope with a 30-year half-life, at the plants’ discharge points to the ocean peaked at more than 50 million times normal/previous levels.
- [Marine chemist Ken Buesseler] says that at levels indicated by these data, the releases are not likely to be a direct threat to humans
- “We don’t know how this might affect benthic marine life, and with a half-life of 30 years, any cesium-137 accumulating in sediments or groundwater could be a concern for decades to come”
Published: December 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am ET