San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 8, 2014: Scientists reported Wednesday that low levels of radiation from Japan’s Fukushima disaster first detected off the California coast two years ago have been declining ever since [… Prof. Nicholas Fisher] said that continued sampling of low radiation levels from Fukushima on the California coast shows “they have gone down ever since.”
There appears to be confusion about the radioactive plume crossing the Pacific to the West Coast. The leading edge of the plume has only just recently been reported to be arriving at the North American coast. Which means whatever contamination that was detected “off the California coast two years ago [and has] been declining ever since” is not related to the Fukushima plume crossing the Pacific.
Reports of the recent arrival of the Fukushima plume on the West Coast of North America are coming from government-funded scientists. Here’s a few examples:
- Oct. 15, 2013 — Report by scientists with Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Fukushima plume “was detectable along the entire Line P in June, 2013″ which extends to the Canadian west coast near the U.S. border
- Nov. 20, 2013 — Marine Chemist on CBC Radio: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada is “starting to detect the presence of the plume of radioactivity […] it is making its way towards our coast.”
- Nov. 27, 2013 — Marine Radiochemist on KPFA Radio: “I’ve seen some Canadian data that the front edge of that plume is starting to show up […] confirming what the models predict”
Multiple experts have voiced concerns about the levels of Fukushima nuclear waste contained in the plume:
- Douglas Dasher, researcher at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks: “The levels they are projecting in some of the models are in the ballpark of what they saw in the North Pacific in the 1960s.”
- Arnie Gundersen, nuclear expert: “Radiation that went into the Pacific from largely French tests, but also American tests, is smaller than what is going into the Pacific now from Fukushima […] Fukushima Daiichi’s plume that’s heading towards the West Coast of the US has about 10 times more radiation in that wave than what we had already done from bomb testing. We further contaminated the Pacific, much more so than the bomb testing.”
- John Kelley, professor emeritus at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks: “The data they will need is not only past data but current data, and if no one is sampling anything then we won’t really know it, will we? The general concern was, is the food supply safe? And I don’t think anyone can really answer that definitively.”
The contamination is forecast to last for about 10 years off California’s coast. Yet the model only takes into account the first few weeks of Fukushima releases into the Pacific, though plant officials have recently admitted hundreds of tons of contaminated water have been flowing into the Pacific since the first days of the disaster nearly 3 years ago.
More on this from nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen: Radioactive plume to impact West Coast in a year — Not going away after it hits… likely to only get stronger — Fukushima will keep releasing contamination for years to come — Must demand officials test fish and make data public (AUDIO)