– California schools announce Fukushima testing: Imperative we monitor for any Fukushima contamination “that will be arriving this year” in ocean — LA Times claims levels are declining, fails to inform readers of radioactive plume crossing Pacific (ENENews, Jan 13, 2014):
Berkeley Lab News Center, Jan. 13, 2014: Researchers from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have launched “Kelp Watch 2014,” a scientific campaign designed to determine the extent of radioactive contamination of the state’s kelp forest from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant […] 19 academic and government institutions and three other organizations/businesses [are involved]. These participants will sample kelp from the entire California coastline […] sampling will begin in mid-February and will end in late winter. […] Sampling will take place several times in 2014, and processed kelp samples will be sent to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab […]
Manhattan Beach, CA Patch, Jan. 13, 2014: Cal State Long Beach researchers will monitor the state’s kelp forest for radioactive contamination from the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, it was announced Monday. Traces of radioactive iodine from the March 11, 2011, earthquake, tsunami and meltdown were detected about a month later in kelp along the Orange County shoreline.
Steven L. Manley, CSULB biology professor an expert in marine algae and kelp (Emphasis Added): “The California kelp forest is a highly productive and complex ecosystem and a valuable state resource. It is imperative that we monitor this coastal forest for any radioactive contaminants that will be arriving this year in the ocean currents from Fukushima disaster. I receive calls and emails weekly from concerned visitors and Californians about the effect of the Fukushima disaster on our California marine life. I tell them that the anticipated concentrations that will arrive are most likely very low but we have no data regarding its impact on our coastal ecosystem. Kelp Watch 2014 will provide an initial monitoring system at least in the short-term. […] this entire initiative is unfunded by any state or federal agency.”
Kai Vetter, professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley (Emphasis Added): “UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab’s analysis within the new Kelp Watch initiative is part of a larger, ongoing, effort to measure Fukushima related radionuclides in a large variety of objects. […] Making our results available is a critical aspect of our work as it allows us to address concerns about Fukushima radiation levels and to explain the meaning and potential impact of these levels particularly in the context of the natural radiation background we are exposed to in our daily lives [Physicians: “Comparisons between nuclear fallout and background radiation are misleading”].”
L.A. Times, Jan. 12, 2014 (Emphasis Added): […] Radiation detected off the U.S. West Coast from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has declined since the 2011 tsunami disaster and never approached levels that could pose a risk to human health, seafood or wildlife, scientists say. […] Experts have been trying to dispel worries [that] radiation from Fukushima is contaminating beaches and seafood and harming sea creatures across the Pacific. […] Those assertions are false and the concerns largely unfounded, scientists and government officials said last week, because Fukushima radionuclides in ocean water and marine life are at trace levels and declining — so low that they are trivial compared with what already exists in nature. […] Even at its worst in the months after the disaster, the dose of radioactivity that Fisher’s lab found in tuna caught off California was far lower than what people are exposed to from medical X-rays or eating bananas […]