On March 11, 2011, a tsunami caused a major earthquake, which disabled the power supply and cooling of three nuclear reactors in Japan. One of the worst disasters in world history is the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, which leaked large quantities of radioactive material first throughout Japan, then into parts of the Pacific Ocean.
After the Fukushima disaster, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) established a joint IAEA Technical Cooperation (TC) project to research the effect of the contamination in the Pacific Ocean. Its first meeting in August, 2012, reported that the radioactive material called the “the Kuroshio Current” (and its extension) could transport the radioactive particles across the entire Pacific Ocean heading east. They discovered that the radioactivity remained low, but were uncertain how this affected seafood. They next established a “marine monitoring project,” to ascertain if seafood in the region was safe to eat.
The image below identifies elements of cesium, a radioactive substance, in the Pacific Ocean. A July 2, 2014 field study of seawater reported elements of cesium, a radioactive substance:
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“sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago. If true, the revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power. Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy.”
Also in 2014-2015 the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution discovered trace amounts of cesium-134 and cesium-137 in sea water near Vancouver Island, British Columbia— the first time radioactive material has been detected off the coast of North America.
The problem with nuclear fallout is that the level and expanse of radiation and radioactive materials cannot be prevented from spreading due to changing wind patterns and sea currents.
What’s worse, according to Bloomberg News, is that the IAEA is suggesting that the contaminated water still held in tanks should be dumped into the ocean.
How would this be controlled and/or monitored, and not contribute to even more contamination and greater levels of cesium being found in the ocean? How will any fish caught in the ocean be safe to eat? Will the government start testing the fish for radioactivity? Won’t more contamination wipe out the fishing industry, businesses, and livelihoods?