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Small Amounts of Fukushima Radiation Found off California Coast

Photo Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Small amounts of radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan have been detected off the coast of California.

According to a release from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, radioactivity was detected due west of Eureka, California after scientists found the trace amounts of telltale radioactive compounds as part of their ongoing monitoring.

“We detected cesium-134, a contaminant from Fukushima, off the northern California coast. The levels are only detectable by sophisticated equipment able to discern minute quantities of radioactivity,” said Ken Buesseler, a WHOI marine chemist who is leading the monitoring effort.

Radioactive elements have been slowly making their way across the Pacific Ocean since the devastating blast and meltdown of the power plant in 2011. The levels that have reached the California coast are no cause for concern as the amount reported is less than 2 Becquerels per cubic meter. That’s more than 1,000 times lower than the acceptable limits in drinking water set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


 
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