kelp-studyvia CBS L.A. / May 7 2014 / The West Coast shoreline shows no signs of ocean-borne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, scientists said Wednesday.

KNX 1070′s Tom Reopelle reports researchers from CSU Long Beach and other schools are sampling kelp along the California coastline to determine whether seawater arriving from Japan poses any public health threat.

The Kelp Watch 2014 project – which is co-headed by Dr. Steven Manley, marine biology professor at Long Beach State – has gathered kelp samples from as far north as Kodiak Island, Alaska, to as far south as Baja California to determine the extent of possible radiation contamination from the Fukushima disaster in March 2011.

During the first phase of the project, samples were primarily collected from Feb. 24 through March 14 at 38 of the 44 sites originally identified by researchers for testing of cesium-137 and -134 isotopes, according to researchers.

“So far, it appears that, based on our analysis of kelp, that none of the Fukushima radiation has arrived via the ocean current to our shoreline,” Manley said.

Two sites in the tropics – Hawaii and Guam, where non-kelp brown algae were sampled — were also negative for Fukushima radiation, according to researchers.

Manley noted that the project also has giant kelp from off the coast of Chile in South America that serves as a reference site, far removed from any potential influence from Fukushima.

The study somewhat contradicted earlier findings from a 2012 Long Beach State study that found low levels of radioactive isotopes in seaweed found along the southern Pacific Coast.

While the project’s participants are primarily from academia who have agreed to work pro bono, donors with the USC-Sea Grant and California State University Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) have agreed to contribute funds to the project, researchers said.

The second of the three 2014 sampling periods is scheduled to begin in early July.


SOURCE: CBS Los Angeles
Photo credit: David J. Nelson/Cal State Long Beach

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By Broc West| 18 Comments | Featured, News

18 comments

  1. These findings are not suprising at all when you consider that 300 tons of contaminated water leaking into the Pacific per day (the frequently reported numbers) amounts to, after 3 years, a total volume of water that measures only about 70m x 70m x 70m. Given the massive volume of water in the Pacific, the dilution factor renders the leaked water utterly meaningless.

    • Essentially all the contamination due to Fukushima was released within a few weeks after the tsunami. The groundwater seepage has zero effect on the Pacific as a whole, as you rightly point out – in fact it has no measurable effect even a few hundred meters offshore of the plant.

      All open-water measurements of radioactive contamination effectively capture the initial contamination deposition and its subsequent transport by ocean currents and wave effects. There will not be any tuna more contaminated than the ones caught in 2011 for the same reason – they essentially grew up in the highest concentration of Fukushima radionuclides, which has now dispersed.

      The other effect of this initial “pulse” of radioactivity is that the amount of Fukushima radioactivity in the environment has been decreasing ever since. The cesium already out there is decaying faster than any seepage from the site can add to it.

    • Fukushima has been a terrible tragedy and no mistake. The unwarranted alarmism from some concerning that event, however, has been more so.

      If folks truly want to worry about pollution along Long Beach’s coastline, they need look no further than the two rivers which bracket it and which transport untold amounts of trash and toxins from many upstream sources that, to date, have not been held to any degree accountable for doing so.

      As it is it took a judge’s order to recently inform Los Angeles County that it has some responsibility for mitigating this incredible amount of pollution.

      “Urban runoff is the leading cause of water pollution in Southern California. Water from winter storms and sprinkler runoff picks up a stew of contaminants as it washes over streets, yards and industrial sites into storm drains. Bacteria from pet waste, copper from auto brake pads and pesticides all spike the runoff, which eventually flows into the ocean.”
      source: latimes.com

      The County should not need a Court to tell it what is quite obvious…that if upstream cities within the county will not assume responsibility on their own, the County should require them to do so. Likewise, if the County refuses to assume its responsibility in this regard, the State should require it to do so.

  2. Are the above comments honest or are we being soft-soaped?

    • The two above are Nuclear Apologists (Gatekeepers); delusional. It’s very sad.

      • Does your mommy know you’re using her computer? Be a good little scottie girl and go back outside to the sandbox, and leave the serious discussions to the adults.

        • Shhh…

          Math is black magic that confuses and frightens them.

    • Trivial math:

      1 cubic meter of water weighs one metric ton.
      300 tons per day = 300 cubic meters.
      300 cubic meters per day times 1095 days (3 years) = 328500 cubic meters, total.
      Calculating the cube root of 328500 to get the cubic volume gives us approx. 70 x 70 x 70.

      The only bullshit being posted here is the loon that said we are nuke apologists.

      • calculate the people already died, and will…

        • According to one source I found, approximately 108 billion souls have come and gone on planet earth since man first made an appearance. And there are currently about 7 billion people alive on earth, so in roughly 70 years time, the total will go up to about 115 billion. And how many of those 7 billion will be killed by Fukushima? I have no way to calculate that, but given the simple leaked water calculations above, it will be decades and decades and decades before the leaked water has any measurable effect.

      • LOL. What a tosser you are!! Next thing you’ll be telling us that man-made radionuclides are biodegradable…. got a sum for that? NO?… thought not.

        Honestly… how do you sleep at night?

        • A little simple math hurting your brain, scottie?

          As I said, get back to your sandbox and leave the serious discussions to the adults. And take all of your lunatic enenews friends with you, m’kay?

  3. maybe we did avoid a global disaster on this one maybe not.what about the next one stop being political puppets and wake up find renewable energy or face disaster on a mass scale.

  4. also the ocean has currents that carry the pollution to your local drinking hole.so go ahead defend your great revenue,drill your oil wells and frack away I will be sitting here as a broke American laughing at all the puppets.

  5. Nuclear material in any amount is detrimental to human health. Hot particles are not the same as natural ionizing radiation that is emitted from the sun and outer space (background radiation)
    To be comparing the two and using one as a means of regulating the other is madness, like water and oil, they are both liquid but completely different. There is more unknown about our world and the interactions with all that is in it and man is too greedy to care. Everything should be questioned, had that not been the case in the past the earth would still be flat, the moon would be cheese, and nuclear waste will forever be considered good for us, (as long as it stays within “acceptable levels” that are set by and accepted by greedy men with conflicts of interest)
    To the trolls in here; move to japan and buy some property beside the crippled reactorS you fools

    We can ignore the problems but we cannot ignore the consequences

    • Gibberish.

      Facts are facts: Only a tiny amount of contaminated water has leaked into the Pacific — 70m x 70m x 70m. Suck it up and get on with living, cuz there ain’t no way Fukushima is going to kill you. The impending 3rd world war, on the other hand, should be of vastly greater concern to you and yours…

      • Go Home Princess…. and check if the pea in your bed is in fact a pea, and not a tumour. I hope for you, I pray for you that all you do have, Princess, is a pee in your bed.

        • “…I pray for you…”

          Well, now I know from whence you get your low IQ.

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