Study: High concentrations of Fukushima radioactive material will reach west coast of North America — “Entire coast” to be affected from Alaska to Mexico — “Can negatively affect human life for decades… should raise concern” (MODEL)

Published: September 23rd, 2013 at 9:27 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
54 comments


Title: Numerical study and prediction of nuclear contaminant transport from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the North Pacific Ocean
Source: Oceanology Vol.57 No.26
Authors: WANG Hui, WANG ZhaoYi*, ZHU XueMing, WANG DaKui & LIU GuiMei; Key Laboratory of Research on Marine Hazards Forecasting, National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center
Received January 12, 2012; accepted March 23, 2012; published online May 30, 2012
Emphasis Added

[…] nuclear contaminants at the surface will move eastward in the Pacific as far as 140°W, thereafter dividing into two branches. For the south branch, nuclear contaminants will be transported westward by the equatorial current, and can reach the Philippines after 10 years’ time. In contrast, the north branch will arrive at the American west coast and then migrate to the Bering Sea. At 200 m water depth, part of the nuclear materials will move southwestward along with deep ocean circulation, which could potentially reach the east coast of Taiwan. The other part will move to the west coast of America and separate into two branches. One will move northward along the west coast of Alaska, while the other will travel southward to the Hawaiian Islands. […] The physical dispersion model results show that high concentrations of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 (137Cs) will move eastward and reach the central Pacific and west coast of North America in two and eight years, respectively. […]

The radioactive isotope 137Cs, with a half-life of 30.1 years, can negatively affect human life for decades, so the transport and diffusion process of 137Cs should raise concern. […]

Given uncertainty of the volume released into the ocean, one source of leaked nuclear materials was idealized at a unit per second in the ocean model, and would be automatically shut off one month later. The forecast of the 137Cs distribution trend is shown in Figure 6. Because of the lack of space, only the distributions of 137Cs in the 2nd and 8th year are shown.

[…] contaminants on the northern side of the Kuroshio Extension diffuse northeastward with the North Pacific Current, and approach the American West Coast in five years. For the south branch, 137Cs will be transported southwestward. [...] After reaching the west coast of North America, 137Cs will be transported southward and northward by coastal currents, affecting that entire coast, including the Bering Sea, but at low concentration. The peak concentration is located east of the Hawaiian Islands and decreases (Figure 6(b)). [...]

[...] The peak concentration of 137Cs will move eastward and approach the central North Pacific in two years. The high concentration of 137Cs radioactive isotope will reach the Hawaiian Islands and approach the west coast of North America.  [...] The location of peak concentration, east of the Hawaiian Islands, will not change in eight years, but will be a decreasing concentration. The entire North Pacific Ocean north of 15°N will be affected by nuclear contaminants in 10 years. [...]

See also: Study shows Fukushima nuclear pollution becoming more concentrated as it approaches U.S. West Coast -- Plume crosses ocean in a nearly straight line toward N. America -- Appears to stay together with little dispersion (MODEL)

Published: September 23rd, 2013 at 9:27 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
54 comments

Related Posts

  1. Fukushima Plume Arrives at West Coast — Expert: “If this was of greater health concern, we’d be very worried”; One model predicts levels over 1,000% higher than another, “this is not really acceptable” (GRAPHIC) February 25, 2014
  2. Canadian Gov’t Scientists: Model shows levels from Fukushima will exceed ‘maximum fallout’ in Pacific — “Not a human health radiological threat!” December 20, 2013
  3. New Forecast Released: ‘Most’ Fukushima nuclear particles will move east across Pacific — Narrow line of radioactive pollutants to make it all the way across ocean this year — Uses decades of data (GRAPHIC) February 17, 2014
  4. SF Chronicle: Fukushima radiation possible culprit in huge starfish die off from Mexico to Alaska — Potential catastrophe, it’s extremely virulent “going on up and down coast… It’s going to change what’s out there pretty fundamentally” December 9, 2013
  5. Gov’t Report: Fukushima ocean plume hit Canada 6 months ago — “Precedes model predictions by several years” — ‘Human health’ is first reason listed for study (MAP) December 20, 2013

54 comments to Study: High concentrations of Fukushima radioactive material will reach west coast of North America — “Entire coast” to be affected from Alaska to Mexico — “Can negatively affect human life for decades… should raise concern” (MODEL)

You must be logged in to post a comment.