2014 Conference on Radioecology and Environmental Radioactivity (final link at bottom of page), K. Buesseler, E. Black, and S. Pike of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; T. Kenna of Lamont-Doherty Earth Obseratory; P. Masqué of Autonomous University of Barcelona, Sept 12, 2014 (emphasis added): Plutonium Isotopes In The Ocean Off Japan After Fukushima — The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants (NPPs) are known to be an unprecedented accidental source of 137Cs, 134Cs and other volatile radionuclides to the ocean. Much less is known however about the extent of input of refractory radionuclides such as plutonium to the environment. Limited available data from land soils and vegetation, suggest at least some atmospheric delivery of particulate Pu… In 2011, in surface ocean waters, we found ratios 240Pu/239Pu >0.3, which implies a component of Fukushima Pu had been delivered to the ocean… Fukushima derived Pu was not found deeper in the water column.
- 51:00 — Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole senior scientist: People have a hard time with radiation risk because we can’t taste it, we can’t smell it… we have no control over this accident.
- 5900 – Question: I’m wondering about the corium and whether anything you’ve detected in the water is coming form the core, the meltdown?
- 59:30– Buesseler: Great question… What I’m thinking of are things like plutonium uranium, the fuel itself… We’ve actually seen, I’d say a trace amount of plutonium, I’ve seen two talks on that… It doesn’t come out as a gas, it’s in the ocean, probably because of all that cooling water they put on there. Hydrogen makes it very acidic… it dissolves some of the materials and bring that back into the ocean… We haven’t yet taken that into the seafood… [It] may have come out in the hot acidic water, that’s been — still to this day btw – they’re putting on 100s of tons of water a day to cool those reactors and only recovering about half of that water… They have to cool that thing for decades, for years certainly and that takes water and they’ve got leaks everywhere.
Published: January 2nd, 2015 at 6:33 pm ET