Radioactive fish from Fukushima nuclear plant found on west coast of US
by: David Gutierrez
Monday, December 19, 2016
In recent weeks, two new landmarks were crossed in the ongoing, inexorable spread of radioactive material from the 2011 Fukushima disaster toward North America’s west coast.
In November, researchers from the Fukushima InFORM project detected the radioactive isotope Cesium-134 (Cs-134) in Canadian salmon. Then on December 9, researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution detected Cs-134 in seawater samples taken at two beaches in Oregon.
Because Cs-134 has a half life of only two years, any occurrence of the isotope in the environment must have come from Fukushima.
In 2011, a major earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Massive quantities of radioactive material spilled into the ocean, while further material ejected into the air also eventually found its way to sea. Since then, researchers have been tracking the progress of this “radioactive plume” as it is carried toward North America by ocean currents.
Plume still spreading