Skip to main content

The short answer is that no one knows.

Much has been written recently about the radioactive ocean-water plume that is due to hit the west coast sometime this year, possibly as soon as next month. The problem is that although we have models that predicts its arrival, we don't know exactly what the amount of radiation will be or where along the coast the radiation will end up.  

Higher-than-normal levels of radiation have already been detected in tuna and kelp in various places along the North America west coast, from Canada to southern California, most likely as a result of radiation contamination brought from Fukushima by air currents. But a big blast from the destroyed nuclear plant is arriving by sea now.

It's estimated that we will receive higher levels of radiation for 6 - 9 years, but that estimate may be based on the single event of the March 11, 2011 explosion.  Radiation-contaminated water has been leaking continuously from the damaged plant since the explosion.  And Tepco, the owner of the Fukushima plant, is planning to dump all of the radioactive water still housed there into the ocean, at some point.

How much exposure are we receiving? How bad is it going to get? What can we do to protect ourselves? These questions have not been satisfactorily answered. Conspiracy theories abound, people are taking their own Geiger counters to beaches to test for radioactivity, blogs are written predicting one million future deaths from radiation, articles are written counseling calm in the face of uncertainty.

What's lacking is an ocean-water testing program by the federal government.  The reason for this is that, unlike airborne radiation testing, testing for radioactivity in ocean water is not covered by any existing government agency! This has essentially fallen through the regulatory cracks. One ocean-radiation scientist, Ken Buessler, has taken it upon himself to do the testing. He is asking people to donate to his efforts. Another scientist is planning to test kelp in the waters off the California coast.

It's time to put pressure on our public officials to fund a testing program!

Other links of interest:

Five Things You Need to Know About the Radioactive Plume Approaching the West Coast

What Is The ACTUAL Risk for Pacific Coast Residents from Fukushima Radiation?

Fukushima Radiation Hits US West Coast

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site