Record Fukushima radiation levels found on southern California coast

Record radiation levels from the Fukushima power plant have been recorded off the coast of southern California. Radioactive cesium was measured on a beach between San Diego and Los Angelos. The nuclear waste was detected in early April 2015, meaning toxic levels of radiation have been plaguing the West Coast since early spring.1,2

Approximately 8.4 becquerels per cubic meter of radioactive cesium was detected off the coast of Del Mar, California, which is located 15 miles north of San Diego and 100 miles south of Los Angeles. Woods Hole, the country’s oldest marine aquarium, also detected radioactive waste from the Fukushima plant along the shoreline of North America in Ucluelet, Canada, which is about 1,200 miles north of Del Mar.(1,2)

Approximately 7.2 becquerels per cubic meter of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 was measured in Ucluelet in February. Cesium-137 is a lethal radioactive isotope, usually a product of nuclear fallout, that infects the soil and water. It has a half-life of about 30 years, meaning it will continue to plague the West Coast for decades. Exposure to the contaminate is linked to increased risk of cancer. In high amounts, Cesium-137 can cause serious skin burns and even death.(2)

“As the plume begins to arrive along the West Coast [it] will actually increase in concentration… no public agency in the US is monitoring the activities in the Pacific… Without careful, extensive, consistent monitoring, we’ll have no way of knowing how much radiation from Fukushima is reaching our shores, and how it could affect life in the ocean,” according to research scientist Ken Buesseler.(1)

Other dangerous radioactive isotopes may creep up on the shores of California as well. According to the media report, “radioactive isotopes of iodine, low levels of plutonium and tritium might be in the plume.”2

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