Study: North America’s West Coast to be most contaminated by Fukushima cesium of all regions in Pacific in 10 years — “An order-of-magnitude higher” than waters off Japan (MAPS)

Published: July 15th, 2012 at 12:59 am ET


Title: Model simulations on the long-term dispersal of 137Cs released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima
Source: IOPscience
Author: Erik Behrens, Franziska U Schwarzkopf, Joke F Lübbecke and Claus W Böning
Date: July 9, 2012
Emphasis Added

In the following years, the tracer cloud continuously expands laterally, with maximum concentrations in its central part heading east. While the northern portion is gradually invading the Bering Sea, the main tracer patch reaches the coastal waters of North America after 5–6 years, with maximum relative concentrations ( > 1 × 10−4) covering a broad swath of the eastern North Pacific between Vancouver Island and Baja California. Simultaneously some fraction of the southern rim of the tracer cloud becomes entrained in the North Equatorial Current (NEC), resulting in a westward extending wedge around 20°N that skirts the northern shores of the Hawaiian Archipelago. After 10 years the concentrations become nearly homogeneous over the whole Pacific, with higher values in the east, extending along the North American coast with a maximum (~1 × 10−4) off Baja California. The southern portion of the tracer cloud is carried westward by the NEC across the subtropical Pacific, leading to increasing concentrations in the Kuroshio regime again.


Region I = Western Pacific

With caution given to the various idealizations (unknown actual oceanic state during release, unknown release area, no biological effects included, see section 3.4), the following conclusions may be drawn. (i) Dilution due to swift horizontal and vertical dispersion in the vicinity of the energetic Kuroshio regime leads to a rapid decrease of radioactivity levels during the first 2 years, with a decline of near-surface peak concentrations to values around 10 Bq m−3 (based on a total input of 10 PBq). The strong lateral dispersion, related to the vigorous eddy fields in the mid-latitude western Pacific, appears significantly under-estimated in the non-eddying (0.5°) model version. (ii) The subsequent pace of dilution is strongly reduced, owing to the eastward advection of the main tracer cloud towards the much less energetic areas of the central and eastern North Pacific. (iii) The magnitude of additional peak radioactivity should drop to values comparable to the pre-Fukushima levels after 6–9 years (i.e. total peak concentrations would then have declined below twice pre-Fukushima levels). (iv) By then the tracer cloud will span almost the entire North Pacific, with peak concentrations off the North American coast an order-of-magnitude higher than in the western Pacific.

Watch the simulation here

Published: July 15th, 2012 at 12:59 am ET


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30 comments to Study: North America’s West Coast to be most contaminated by Fukushima cesium of all regions in Pacific in 10 years — “An order-of-magnitude higher” than waters off Japan (MAPS)

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    I have truly loved my Pacific ocean. This feels like a painful, ugly divorce.

    • bleep_hits_blades

      dharmasyd – More like a rape/murder – a mass murder…

    • kintaman kintaman

      Worry not. This is all temporary. In 2.5 millions years the last of the remaining contaminants will have stopped decaying and the threat will be over. Then we can all eat fish (3-eyed of course by then) from the Pacific again! Yay! Thank you TEPCO!

  • harengus_acidophilus

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    In my understanding this "study" investigates the dispersion of a "one-time-release" of radionucleides. I would like to see a study with more realistic assumtions. We have ongoing releases since 3/11, so we don't need this garbage studies.


    • Cisco Cisco


      You are correct; the study is based on the "release of highly contaminated water from the damaged plants in March–April". The report only deals with the discharge of radioactive water; it does not account for atmospheric releases. What about the airborne radiation that was dispenses into the Pacific Ocean. For those not addressed conditions, the report is seriously technically flawed.

      Note: It’s interesting that these “official” reports only ever seem to deal with Cesium and Iodine. All the other isotopes like Strontium, Americium, Polonium, Plutonium, et al are never mentioned or discussed. These radionuclides are the worst, and they are present.

      TEPCO admitted to the ongoing dumping 1000 tons of water a day (about a million gallons every 4 days) sometime after October 2011. The Fukushima Daiichi plant has been off gassing/releasing radionuclides 24/7, since it first exploded; it continues. Incineration of radioactive debris is releasing more radionuclides; and, the dumping of radioactive ash in Tokyo Bay adds to more Pacific Ocean contamination. None of these conditions are factored into or even discussed in this “feel good, don’t worry, dilution is the solution” BS piece of propaganda.

      The report states, “Samples of sea water collected off the NPPs by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Japanese Ministry of Technology (MEXT) in the weeks after the incident indicated extremely high levels of radioactivity,

      • Cisco Cisco


        as far as 30 km offshore (Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log by International Atomic Energy Agency,”

        Any estimates, samplings, data, and conclusions by and from TEPCO, the Japanese Ministry of Technology, and the IAEC should be highly suspect. To date, the only certainty about these organizations' reporting is, you can depend on them for distortion and misrepresenting the true and actual conditions.

        This will be a good piece for the MSM. No, no worries…the dumbsters can all go back to sleep.

      • Cisco Cisco


        You are correct; the study is based on the "release of highly contaminated water from the damaged plants in March–April 2011". The report only deals with the discharge of radioactive water; it does not account for atmospheric releases. What about the airborne radiation that was dispensed into the Pacific Ocean? For those not addressed conditions, the report is seriously technically flawed.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        And uranium.

  • Cosmic 5%
    Terrestrial (soil) 3%
    Internal 5%
    Radon and Thoron 37%
    Medical (not nuclear medicine) 36%
    Nuclear Medicine 12%
    Consumer products and industrial 3%

    A real Nuke PRO presents data rather than insults and adhominems.

    Before Fuku "manmade sources" accounted for 50% of our dose, however 37% of the background dose was radon/thoron and that is controllable by simple means—down to 5% of the 37%
    or roughly 2%.
    In order then–"natural" 5+3+5+2=15 total
    add to 50 manmade =65%


    There is 400% more BS manmade crap poisoning us rather than "natural" and that was BEFORE Fukushima which is predicted to double the dose…with some very long lived nasties that target internal organs and bones. As opposed to external Alphas and Betas that are bad but not nearly as bad as the monsters the nukers have created to plague the human race, AND all the animals that we have appointed ourselves as the caretakers of.

    Shitty job, hang your head in shame nukers.

    Pie chart of the data here….makes it all very clear

    • arclight arclight

      nice catch stock

      if i might point out that "natural" radiation.. like we find in diminishing amounts as you move away from places like la hague, can also be produced as a bi-product of the waste burning processes as well as being produced by nuclear power plants..

      if you look at this map..

      you can see values in japan with 0.01 mcSv/h

      nice background.. huh? there are many with 0.05 and less away from the more contaminated areas… why? they stopped more than 90 percent of the nuclear reactors.. imo

      and here they talk about 0.10 + mcSv/h being the "normal" background here on the link below and this is confirmed on "simply info" too

      Radiation Level Updates as of April 15, 2011

      that was before the air started getting cleaner after the mass switch offs… the later simply info report gives the range to get the 0.05 mcSv/h level but in its calculation doesnt make clear the average (according to official stats is 0.11 mcSv/h approx) but agrees on the 1 millisievert/year dose.. the reality is that much of japan has less than 0.5 millisieverts/year since the air cleared and no npps were spewing..

      heres the simplyinfo link too

      • arclight arclight

        to clarify
        radon is not all natural.. it occours in some places but is found everywhere.. especially near waste processing plants etc

        thats why radlevelsengland gets such high readings and in london i get much lower radon washouts.. only up to two and a half time normal average with a little initial peak to 200 cpm approx

        i think it is la hague that shows a pretty constant 0.20 mcSv/h and has the LARGEST releases of other isotopes, though its hard to get a connection with radon.. hard but not impossible..

  • Ron

    The World: Thanks a lot Nuke industry!

    Nuke Industry: Don't mention it. Anytime. 🙂

  • S.W.P. S.W.P.

    Well now,it will be so much easier to fish for tuna in a few years.Forget looking for the signs of birds feeding on bait fish balls.Or the sonar tracking the depth and size of the school.Now it will be just a case of turning on ultra sensitive Geiger counters to home in on the schools.And who knows,night time fishing could be even better,the fish might start glowing in the dark and lead us right to them.Boy ain't life just going to be wonderful!!! And as an added bonus they won't have to pay for food irradiation for long term storage.

  • JustmeAlso

    ''The human brain is now at risk from its own behavior, and nothing else in the ecosystem is harming itself in the same way''
    Dr Chris Williams

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    September 20th, 21st and 22nd

    SEPTEMBER NO NUKES convergence on Washington D.C.

    "It’s time to really FOCUS on nuclear power issues BEFORE the 2012 presidential election! The Coalition Against Nukes is organizing an anti-nuclear convergence in Washington, DC, Sept. 20-22, 2012 to FULLY EXPOSE the nuclear crisis in Japan and its relevance to the insidious nuclear industry in the United States. This is a GRASSROOTS effort and we need YOUR INVOLVEMENT for these events to be successful! We must maximize AWARENESS before the election to bring attention to the dangers of nuclear power."

    "We call on citizens across the country to mobilize their communities by working from now until September to get to Washington, DC for these events. We also urge you to call or email your elected representatives and URGE them to attend the congressional briefing. C.A.N will also invite our congressional representatives to the briefing on Sept. 20th at the Cannon Bldg, Rm 121, 2-4pm."


      @MaidenHeaven: I'm thinking of saving-up the cash and taking others to this event. I'm gonna really try to do this.

      We know MSM won't give any attention to it; that's a given. More important than getting them on-board (wish in one hand) is to send a clear message to 'others' that we're willing to take it to the streets. And of course, it'd be fun to do an enenews-group-hug at this rally!

      Keep up the wonderful work Maiden…

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    Million Member Coalition Forms Behind Renewable Energy Agenda

    The coalition's "American Clean Energy Agenda" calls for phasing out nuclear power, natural gas, coal and industrial biomass "and driving a grand transition to efficient use of renewable, non-polluting resources."

    As signed by the supporting citizen organizations, the American Clean Energy Agenda states, "The time is now for a new, grassroots-driven politics to bring about a renewable energy future. As Congress debates major new public investments in energy, we need to ensure that our taxpayer dollars support an energy system that protects public health, promotes energy independence and ensures the economic well being of all Americans."

    "Whether it be oil and shale gas drilling, coal mining or nuclear energy, this coalition of grassroots experts have witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts of mountaintop mining removal, fracking for natural gas, uranium mining and nuclear waste," said White. "We've banded together to take back our clean energy future from the seemingly all-powerful big oil, natural gas and energy companies that continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to keep us trapped in a dirty energy economy."

    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      Civil Society Institute President Pam Solo said, "It is time for the communities who are suffering the ill effects of fracking, mountaintop mining, and other forms of wasteful and dangerous energy production to have a say in moving America to a clean energy future. The political power of the energy industry has deferred a clean energy agenda at the expense of the health and safety of too many communities in the country."

      Solo said, "To those who will say that these groups do not have a place at the policy-making table, we say this: these are exactly the people who need to be heard. The harms caused by continued reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power may not be felt in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, but they are experienced in the heartland of this nation."


    That is the most lunatic, irresponsible science I have ever seen. The plume and contaminants will remain strongest starting at the source, not farthest from the source. It will be a magnitude or multiples higher around japan than the US West coast.

    • Pierpont

      WTF?? Calm down, Dreams. Think this through.

      The currents move to the east and north from Daiichi. California is also east of Daiichi. Look for the connection here.

      Piss into a moving stream. Does the concentration of pee remain highest at your feet? Of course not. This is why you don't piss upstream or into the wind. [BTW, don't forget to rinse your hands.]

      The Pacific is a stream moving in three dimensions. It is one big washing machine. There is dispersion and dilution, which means radioactivity is initially moving from its source eastwards, northwards, and downwards. Once the source is stopped, of course the concentrations will become higher downstream. The issue is how far the radiation goes, how fast, and how much ends up where. There is absolutely no issue that once the source stops pissing, concentrations will initially be lowest where the source was.

  • rockster

    Its amazing they are still burning and dumping radioactive debris into Tokyo bay. That is insane, and if this stops, will still have high contamination in that area. Total MORONS. Totally INSANE. Corporate Japan at its worst.

  • demo demo

    Corporate power at its worst=genocidal. How to end corporate rule? Start by signing this petition and registering for a regional convergence:

  • Anthony Anthony

    US West Coast to receive dangerous levels of Fukushima radiation

    Published: 17 July, 2012, 23:08

    • Anthony Anthony

      You know Japan I said it almost two years ago now… its one thing if you are okay with poisoning yourselves, but it is another when you are harming other citizens like me and my family and friends here in Canada as this article suggests.

      Stop poisoning US Japan.