Radioactivity in Japanese waters thousands of times higher than normal


  • Radioactivity in Japanese waters thousands of times higher than normal

    With recent reports that there have been further radioactive leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power plants, a new study has assessed the level of radioactivity in the ocean in the first months after the disaster.

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution chemist Ken Buesseler and two Japanese colleagues report that discharges from the power plants peaked a month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and continued through at least July.

    The disaster was the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history. Concentrations of cesium-137 at the plants' discharge points to the ocean peaked at more than 50 million times normal levels.

    The team found that releases to the ocean peaked in April, decreasing in May by a factor of 1,000 thanks to ocean mixing and a dramatic fall in emissions.

    But while concentrations of some radionuclides continued to decrease, by July they were still 10,000 times higher than levels measured in 2010 off the coast of Japan.

    Source: tgdaily.com