Pacific Ocean radiation back near normal after Fukushima: study

July 4, 2016
A study has found that the seafloor and harbour near the Fukushima plant are still highly contaminated in the wake of the nuclear accident

Radiation levels across the Pacific Ocean are rapidly returning to normal five years after a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant spewed gases and liquids into the sea, a study showed Monday.

Japan shut down dozens of reactors after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake-generated tsunami on March 11, 2011 triggered one of the largest ever dumps of into the world's oceans.

In the days following the quake and explosions at Fukushima, seawater meant to cool the nuclear reactors instead carried back into the Pacific, with currents dispersing it widely.

Five years on a review by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, which brings together ocean experts from across the world, said radioactive material had been carried as far as the United States.

But after analysing data from 20 studies of radioactivity associated with the plant, it found in the Pacific were rapidly returning to normal after being tens of millions of times higher than usual following the disaster.

"As an example, in 2011 about half of fish samples in coastal waters off Fukushima contained unsafe levels of radioactive material," said Pere Masque, who co-authored the review published by the Annual Review of Marine Science.

"However, by 2015 that number had dropped to less than one percent above the limit."

But the study also found that the seafloor and harbour near the Fukushima plant were still highly contaminated in the wake of the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

"Monitoring of radioactivity levels and sea life in that area must continue," added Masque, a professor of environmental radiochemistry at the Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.

The research examined radioactive caesium levels measured off Japan's coast across the Pacific to North America.

Caesium is a by-product of and is highly soluble in water, making it ideal for measuring the release of radioactive material into the ocean, it said.

Although no one is recorded as having died as a direct result of the nuclear accident, tens of thousands of people were uprooted, with many still unable to return home because of persistent contamination.

Cleaning up Fukushima and making the area habitable again is a crucial plank of government policy in Japan, with Tokyo keen to prove nuclear power is a viable form of energy production for the resource-poor nation.

Explore further: Fukushima and the oceans: What do we know, five years on?

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16 comments

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HocusLocus
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 04, 2016
Overheard in the popular press: crickets.
ElectricBoobVerses
Jul 04, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
HeloMenelo
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 04, 2016
Overheard in the popular press: crickets.

Overheard on physorg: HocusLocus is another antigoracle monkey sock.
xstos
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 04, 2016
Meanwhile GHG levels continue to skyrocket because nuclear is scary.
Steelwolf
1.5 / 5 (8) Jul 05, 2016
The major problem is that there were several private planes that dumped radioactive cesium into the harbor that day. It is ungodly expensive to recycle and some old medical equipment has lots of it. I think that the super high levels of cesium in the water afterwards, before it had time to seem thru the groundwater, HAD to have come from outside sources suddenly seeing this as a way to get rid of their expensive depleting stockpile with little way to trace it. Besides, it adds to the "Disaster" figures on this intentionally set Tsunami. (that you wont hear in MSM either because it was no normal quake that set that off)
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (11) Jul 05, 2016
The major problem is that there were several private planes that dumped radioactive cesium into the harbor that day.

Riiiiiight. And all of that without frying the crew. Suuuure.
(We had a story like that 20 years ago where people claimed that a plane crashed in a lake with a kilo or so of caesium on board...until someone did the math and showed that even with some very heavy shielding that would not have been survivable for the crew for any length of time)

Dumping *unshielded* caesium from private planes? Now that's even more crazy.
Da Schneib
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 05, 2016
I have a question.

But after analysing data from 20 studies of radioactivity associated with the plant, it found radiation levels in the Pacific were rapidly returning to normal after being tens of millions of times higher than usual following the disaster.
What, all over the Pacific?

Really?

Really?

Can we have a little, you know, quantification of that? Like where those readings were taken? You know, all that science-y stuff? On the physics site?

I guarantee that one little nuclear plant didn't raise the background in the entire Pacific ocean by 20,000 times. We'd all be dead.
HeloMenelo
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 05, 2016
The major problem is that there were several private planes that dumped radioactive cesium into the harbor that day.

Riiiiiight. And all of that without frying the crew. Suuuure.
(We had a story like that 20 years ago where people claimed that a plane crashed in a lake with a kilo or so of caesium on board...until someone did the math and showed that even with some very heavy shielding that would not have been survivable for the crew for any length of time)

Dumping *unshielded* caesium from private planes? Now that's even more crazy.


The gobbled gook some socks come up with these days, well said Da Shneib !
BigusDickus
Jul 06, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 06, 2016
Actually I think the mistake they made was using figures near Fukushima instead of the average for the entire Pacific, but your point is also well taken, @Bigus.
Steelwolf
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 07, 2016
Sorry fer repeat, need new mouse
Anti-alias, yes, it IS Crazy and Unsane, I am assuming that they were shielded right up until the point they were able to signal a remote, drop the pellets, they were also given a place to refuel from, only there was nothing there, wrong numbers or 'no such island' so terrible, with all the tragedy, another lost airplane, lost in the numbers. And 2 or 3 such planes, entirely possible, if the pilots do not know what they have. Corporations nor criminals have scruples against spending airplanes and lives to save further money and create the terror levels they want. Besides, do you know the going rates to Properly dispose of Cesium? A few planes and lives are cheap by comparison.
Steelwolf
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 07, 2016
Anti-alias, yes, it IS Crazy and Unsane, I am assuming that they were shielded right up until the point they were able to signal a remote, drop the pellets, they were also given a place to refuel from, only there was nothing there, wrong numbers or 'no such island' so terrible, with all the tragedy, another lost airplane, lost in the numbers. And 2 or 3 such planes, entirely possible, if the pilots do not know what they have. Corporations nor criminals have scruples against spending airplanes and lives to save further money and create the terror levels they want. Besides, do you know the going rates to Properly dispose of Cesium? A few planes and lives are cheap by comparison.
geokstr
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 08, 2016
Overheard in the popular press: crickets.

Overheard on physorg: HocusLocus is another antigoracle monkey sock.

Is your pay from Soros dependent on how many lame, repetitive personal insults you can post for the crime of not believing in your Marxist religion?
HeloMenelo
4 / 5 (4) Jul 09, 2016
Nope, just rewarding excellent well attributed comments, at the same time i take pleasure in exposing idiocy and rewarding dumb comments with well deserved treatment ;)

Want to get on the list, I love it when a new monkey get's recruited.... :D
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Jul 10, 2016
It did not say in ALL of the Pacific had that concentration, it obviously meant close to the plant. And it is NOT back to normal with that load of contamination in it, as they reference in the load on the sea floor.

We do not need to poison our future with this stuff any more. We now have better sources of power without the dangers and liabilities of this Faustian Bargain.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 11, 2016
It did not say in ALL of the Pacific had that concentration
And you also did say that H2 explosions caused dirty molten Pu to fission and throw reactor vessel parts 130km, even though a conventional thermonuclear device cant throw debris more than a few km.

And then when pressed for an explanation as to why there was no crater from such a big big boom, you gave examples of nukes which were airbursts.

And as any real engineer or 4th grade student will tell you, this is obviously rubbish and bullshit from the mind of a very delusional person indeed.

Also you would want us to believe that Pu is raining down on idaho.

So given these shocking examples of george kamburoffs penchant for inventing nonsense, and his repeated insistence that they are true despite the evidence that they are not, why would anyone take anything he has to say about radiation in the pacific seriously?

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