Vancouver Aquarium: Fukushima – A View From The Ocean, June 5, 2014 (h/t Deep13th Nuclear Waste Info): The triple disaster of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation releases at Fukushima Dai-ichi were unprecedented events for the ocean and society. [...] Across the Pacific, ocean currents carrying Fukushima cesium will be detectable along the west coast of North America at some point in 2014, and though models predict levels below those considered of human health concern, measurements are needed. A report will be given on Our Radioactive Ocean, a citizen scientist website launched to monitor the arrival of Fukushima cesium along the west coast over the coming 2-3 years.
- At 44:00 in — Dr. Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution oceanographer: Recently specific numbers form the California Coastal Commission released in April — what they were doing was taking the peak value in the air in San Francisco and in the water and calculating doses, if someone were to be exposed for an entire year… What they did was they added up the internalizing — drinking water and breathing those peak concentrations — and they came up with a dose of 5 microsieverts… That’s equivalent to a dental x-ray. Not to trivialize and say it’s low, it was not as high – I always look to Japan if I’m going to expect health effects… I am more concerned about the health effects in Japan… Not to say it’s zero, but it’s much higher there… You can’t control groundwater, there’s groundwater flowing everyday into those buildings, into the ocean.
- Watch Buesseler’s presentation here
CBC News, May 16, 2014: CBC science contributor Dr. Torah Kachur compares the levels of radiation in fish near Fukushima and in everyday foods, such as potato chips.
- CBC Host: If I told you there was more radioactivity in a bag of chips than a fish caught off the coast of Fukushima, you probably wouldn’t believe me. But you don’t have to take my word for it, a new report from a UN body says that naturally occurring radiation in the foods we eat like potato chips exceed the levels of most fish in the waters around the nuclear disaster. [...] So I guess on this side of the ocean of course, then nothing to fear.
- Dr. Torah Kachur, science contributor: Nothing to fear on this side, have your Pacific salmon.
- Host: So what’s this about potato chips and radiation?
- Kachur: Just the idea to remind ourselves that radiation is all around us. Three’s different types of radiation, some dangerous some not… a small bag of chips and a lot of the foods we eat contain radiation so a small bag of chips is 129 becquerels of radiation, so thinking oh my gosh Ive got to call my doctor…. Radiation that’s naturally coming from food is potassium-40. … it’s naturally occurring… it’s obviously not dangerous to our cells. So this 129 Bq actually means it’s 20,000 times less than what a dangerous dose is, So radiation sounds terrible but again we’re always exposed to a little bit. [...]
- Host: Why were there so much concern in the first place?
- Kachur: The concern really stemmed from the scale of this and the potential for a disaster more than anything… a potential nuclear meltdown.
- Host: So the bottom line here then — The fears about radiation from Fukushima are unfounded then.
- Full CBC broadcast here
Published: June 7th, 2014 at 4:40 pm ET