Researchers discover cesium near Vancouver
Paul Joseph Watson
Researchers have announced that radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been discovered in seawater west of Vancouver off the coast of Canada, confirming predictions that the radiation would reach the west coast by early 2014.
The findings were announced at the annual American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences meeting in Honolulu yesterday.
“John Smith, a research scientist at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, told the AGU meeting that since 2011 he and colleagues had measured a radioactive plume from nuclear complex at ocean monitoring stations west of Vancouver. Fukushima’s radiation reached Canada before the US on the powerful Kuroshio Current. It’s predicted to flow south and then circle back to Hawaii,” reports Planet Save.
Samples of cesium-134 and cesium-137, which has a half-life of more than 30 years, were found by the researchers. The good news is that the samples are well below safety limits, although these were massively increased by authorities in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. The full scale of the danger will not be known until 2016, which is when the cesium radiation is expected to peak.
Senior scientist Ken Buesseler said that the radiation has not yet reached Washington, California, or Hawaii, although researchers are still awaiting tests on samples collected earlier this month. Some have suggested April as the time when Fukushima radiation will begin to hit the Pacific coast.
Yesterday, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) admitted that levels of radiation measured in seawater from around the destroyed nuclear reactor were “significantly undercounted,” just the latest in a long history of officials deceptively downplaying the threat.
Using ocean simulations, experts concluded last summer that the radioactive plume from the nuclear accident in March 2011 would reach U.S. coastal waters by early 2014.
While publicly scoffing at independent researchers concerned about Fukushima radiation, public health authorities have been making preparations which many see as being connected to the ongoing crisis at the Daiichi nuclear plant.
The Department of Health and Human Services recently ordered 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, but a DHHS official denied that the purchase was connected to the Fukushima crisis.
High levels of radioactivity have already been detected on beaches in San Francisco, although officials were quick to assert that the findings had no connection to Fukushima.
In January it was announced that 19 academic and government institutions would begin monitoring kelp forests across the entire state of California for signs of contamination from the crippled nuclear power plant.