04.07.2016_No130 / News in Brief

Pacific Ocean Radiation Rapidly Returning To Normal After Fukushima, Says Report

Security & Safety

4 Jul (NucNet): Radiation levels across the Pacific Ocean are rapidly returning to normal five years after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan led to extensive releases of radioactive gases, volatiles, and liquids, particularly to the coastal ocean, a report by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research says. 

The committee, which brings together ocean experts from across the world, said radioactive material had been carried as far as the US.

But after analysing data from 20 studies of radioactivity associated with Fukushima-Daiichi, it found radiation levels in the Pacific were rapidly returning to normal after being “tens of millions” of times higher than usual following the accident.

“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 report, published by the Annual Review of Marine Science.

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

The study also found that the seafloor and harbour near Fukushima-Daiichi were still highly contaminated.

“Monitoring of radioactivity levels and sea life in that area must continue, said Prof. 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.

The report is online: http://bit.ly/29gDvWh

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Post-Fukushima Regulations Are Driving Growth In Decommissioning, Says Report (News in Brief No.118, 16 June 2016)

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