Fukushima earthquake triggers thesis topic

Oct 11, 2013

When Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred in March 2011, Aaron Chester had the opportunity of a lifetime to put his chemistry research skills to the test.

He had been looking for a research subject before the earthquake and tsunami damaged Fukushima's , and the event triggered his master's thesis research topic—an analysis of Iodine-131 levels in B.C. rainwater and seaweed samples.

Working with colleagues from Krzysztof Starosta's research group at SFU, he captured information revealing there was no danger to the B.C. public.

He then compared the information to radiation levels experienced in B.C. after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, and to releases from Fukushima observed elsewhere in the world.

"It was a great educational experience for me," says Chester, a native of Michigan. "I had the opportunity to do some work in the public's interest and develop professionally."

In addition to developing environmental expertise and techniques, Chester was surprised to see the amount of public interest and response.

"Nuclear issues are often quite loaded and require both technical and scientific knowledge and political and communications skills," says chemistry professor Kris Starosta, Chester's supervisor. "He learned all those skills and handled many delicate situations skillfully."

Published in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Chester was recognized for his work with the Anthony J. MacKay Student Paper Contest award from the Canadian Radiation Protection Association.

Chester, who convocates Oct. 11 with a MSc. degree, is pursuing doctoral studies in nuclear science at SFU.

Explore further: Australia out of step with new climate momentum

More information: www.journals.elsevier.com/jour… ental-radioactivity/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No health risk from Fukushima radiation, UN says

May 31, 2013

Radiation leaked after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 is unlikely to cause any ill health effects in the future, a UN scientific committee drawing up a major new report said Friday.

Japan to boost surveys off Fukushima: report

Sep 14, 2013

Japan's nuclear authority plans to conduct radiation contamination surveys at 600,000 points on the seabed off the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, up from 200 places so far, a report said Saturday.

High radioactivity found in Japan nuclear workers

May 30, 2011

Two workers from Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have been contaminated by high levels of radioactive iodine, the operator said Monday, prompting fears over their long-term health.

Japan nuclear-free as last reactor switched off

Sep 16, 2013

Japan went nuclear-free on Monday as it switched off its last operating reactor for an inspection, with no date scheduled for a restart amid strong public hostility to atomic power.

Recommended for you

Gold rush an ecological disaster for Peruvian Amazon

22 hours ago

A lush expanse of Amazon rainforest known as the "Mother of God" is steadily being destroyed in Peru, with the jungle giving way to mercury-filled tailing ponds used to extract the gold hidden underground.

Australia out of step with new climate momentum

Nov 28, 2014

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country isolated like never before on climate change as the U.S., China ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.