Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Looking at the statistics for this blog, I notice that quite a few people in the United States have been searching about radiation in food, including in fish. I don't think they are just worried about imported fish from Japan (although some people are certainly avoiding that). They are also wondering whether radiation in the sea near the crippled Fukushima power plant will reach U.S. waters and contaminate the fish here.

Japanese officials have now raised the severity of the Fukushima disaster to that of Chernobyl - a level 7. But, in terms of its impact on oceans, the effect is actually greater. Certain radionuclides have been found at higher levels in the Pacific than they were after Chernobyl in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. They got into the Pacific not only from the hundreds of thousands of tons of very radioactive water discharged into the ocean, but also from the air. So where does all this water go? To answer that question, I did a bit of searching to see what the oceanographers are predicting.
Yes, it does seem that the main currents from the Fukushima area of Japan move across the Pacific towards the west coast of the United States. I think they are the Kuroshio and the Oyashio, which converge (see NASA photo taken 100 miles north of the Fukushima plant). The contaminated seawater is expected to reach Hawaii in about a year and get as far as California in two to three years. It takes a while.

In the meantime, it will get more and more diluted. So it seems that Americans - including people here in California - shouldn't be too worried.

Let's just stick to focusing more on our home-grown toxins in seafood , such as those found the the San Francisco Bay and Santa Monica Bay of California - PCBs, DDT, dieldrin, chlordane and dioxins. And, any that our own nuclear plants discharge into the environment.

To your good health!


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