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)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
By Paul Martin

February 25th, 2014

BBC News, Feb. 25, 2014: The likely scale of the radioactive plume of water from Fukushima due to hit the west coast of North America should be known in the next two months. […] researchers from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography have been sampling waters along a line running almost 2,000km due west of Vancouver, British Columbia. And by June of last year, they were detecting quantities of radioactive caesium-137 and 134 along the sampling line’s entire length. […] One of these models anticipates a maximum concentration by mid-2015 of up to 27 becquerels per cubic metre of water; the other no more than about two becquerels per cubic metre of water. […] [Dr Ken Buesseler from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution] expects [it] to be evident very shortly in US waters. […] no federal agency has picked up the monitoring responsibility.³

Precisely matching the yellow from the most concentrated part of radioactive plume, to the yellow in the color scale reveals levels slightly off-shore could approach 100 Bq/m³. Black was filled in over yellow in order to delineate which part of the plume matches which part of the scale. Graphic at top is the original prediction map. (SOURCE: BBC)

Dr Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Feb. 24, 2014: “What we have to go by right now are models […] these predict numbers as high as 30 of these becquerels per cubic metre of water. It’s interesting: if this was of greater health concern, we’d be very worried about these factors of ten differences in the models. To my mind, this is not really acceptable. We need better studies and resources to do a better job, because there are many reactors on coasts and rivers and if we can’t predict within a factor of 10 what caesium or some other isotope is downstream – I think that’s a pretty poor job.”

Yahoo News — Live Science, Feb. 25, 2014: Fukushima’s Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast […] John Smith, a research scientist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography […] and his colleagues tracked rising levels of cesium-134 […] By June 2013, the concentration reached 0.9 Becquerels per cubic meter, Smith said. […] They are awaiting results from a February 2014 sampling trip. […] models suggest that radionuclides from Fukushima will begin to arrive on the West Coast in early 2014 and peak in 2016. […] Buesseler thinks even low levels of contamination merit monitoring, both for human health information and for the wealth of data about Pacific Ocean currents […]

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