Kelp off SoCal Coast: No Signs of Radiation from Japanese Nuke Meltdown

Cal State Long Beach researchers released the news today.

Photo credit NOAA.
Photo credit NOAA.

Southern California kelp showed no signs of soaking up radiation from the 2011 meltdown of three nuclear reactors at Fukushima, Japan, in the wake of an earthquake-generated tsunami, researchers said today.

Kelp Watch 2014, co-directed by researchers at Cal State Long Beach, uses coastal kelp beds as detectors of radioactive cesium 134 in seawater.

So far, no cesium 134 has been detected in kelp collected anywhere along the West Coast, though low levels of cesium 137 was found in all samples. Scientists believe that came from nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific Ocean in the 1950s and 1960s.

The study, which includes the monitoring of local kelp beds off the coast of Malibu, Palos Verdes and Long Beach, aims to analyze the impact of the disaster along California's shores and the entire West Coast, according to Steven Manley, a Cal State Long Beach biology professor involved in the study.

The most recent testing was done on kelp samples collected in February and March.

According to estimates, radioactive isotopes from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant were expected to arrive in California as early as last month and could linger well after 2016.

--City News Service

pjd May 07, 2014 at 08:20 PM
I don't believe these reports - not commonsense. Also, does anyone realize that human remains are in the fish food chain?
Donna Fleming May 08, 2014 at 11:37 AM
No, how do you know this?
Nesa Anderson May 08, 2014 at 01:03 PM
Here's a link to Kelp Watch 2014 that did the research. http://kelpwatch.berkeley.edu/ It goes into greater detail. There is a link to their results on their home page. This is good news for the West coast.
Penny Arévalo May 08, 2014 at 01:05 PM
Thanks for posting that, Nesa.
Smokey Bear May 09, 2014 at 03:58 AM
Does anyone know who tests the fish that are served at sushi bars? I know the fish isn't 'local' and Tuna isn't farmed & I eat it all the time, so far I'm not growing any additional limbs, but seriously.. Who monitors the fish markets in CA?


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