CBC: Gov’t scientists are now detecting Fukushima’s radioactive plume offshore of Canada — Professor: It’s headed to our coast, I think monitoring rainfall over next couple years is prudent (AUDIO)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
By Paul Martin

November 27th, 2013

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer, Nov. 26, 2013 (at 3:15 in): [It’s] really a mixed blessing […] What saved Japan was that the wind was blowing out to sea. Now I said it’s a mixed blessing because the contamination is heading to the West Coast of the United States. >> Watch the Fairewinds video here

CBC interview with Jay Cullen, associate professor and marine chemist at University of Victoria’s school of earth & ocean sciences, Nov. 20, 2013 (at 8:15 in): I think we could definitely have more monitoring. I know that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans — the Institute of Ocean Science –- [the lion-p?] program which is a time series program that monitors the chemistry and biology of the North Pacific that’s headed up by Maria Robert. They’re making measurements of these Fukushima-source radionuclides offshore, and they’re starting to detect the presence of the plume of radioactivity. Again these elements, the concentrations are really quite low compared to natural* radionuclides, but it is making its way towards our coast. But I do think it would be prudent to monitor both precipitation and what’s going on in the oceans, especially over the next couple of years. 1: for what we can learn about how the oceans are operating; and 2: to really – again — put these risks into perspective. I think that the public’s perceived risk, especially when it comes to radioactivity in the environment, is sometimes way out of line with what the actual risks are.

*Prof. Cullen, Nov. 21, 2013: “The natural level of radioactivity on average in the oceans is about 13 Bq/L.” (or 13,000 Bq/m3)

(Note: Fish bio-concentrate cesium-137 at a rate of 100 times the level found in the surrounding water. For seals and sea lions it’s up to 1,000 times. Source: IAEA)

Full CBC broadcast available here

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