Fukushima Contamination – An Update

Guest scientists Ken Buesseler & Tim Mousseau
in conversation with Mary Beth Brangan, EON Co-director.
Sponsors: Point Reyes Books, Ecological Options Network,
Fukushima Response

Organizer: Bing Gong, Producer of Post Carbon Radio on KWMR-FM

[Download poster PDF here]

300 tons of radioactively contaminated water continue to pour daily into the Pacific from the triple meltdown at Fukushima. Formerly rich farms around the plant remain uninhabitable. What levels of oceanic contamination are detectible so far? Has it reached the West Coast? What are the effects on wild life in the contaminated areas?

Learn from two eminent scientists about their important efforts to track and document the on-going impacts of the nuclear disaster in Japan.

Ken Buesseler, Marine Biologist, Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity
Within months of the Fukushima disaster, Ken Buesseler assembled an international research cruise to sample the waters surrounding the nuclear plant. To date, important fisheries remain closed due to cesium levels above Japanese limits for seafood. Ocean currents are bringing the radioactive particles released from Fukushima to the West Coast. Buesseler now monitors over 50 sites along the West Coast, from Alaska to Mexico, with citizen-scientist funding and participation. Radioactive cesium from Fukushima was detected in ocean water samples in August 2014 off the coast of northern California and in April 2015, in Ucluelet B.C.

Tim Mousseau, Research Biologist, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Professor Mousseau has studied the impacts of radioactive contaminants on biological communities in the Chernobyl region of Ukraine and Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. His research suggests that many species of birds, plants and animals have experienced direct toxicity from the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters. This mutational load has had dramatic consequences for development, reproduction and survival, and the effects observed at individual and population levels are having significant impacts on these regions.

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