Answer to Question #9680 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Nuclear Accidents — Fukushima

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:


I have heard a lot about how we don't have to worry about radioactivity from the Fukushima accident. Everything I have seen, however, relates to airborne radioactivity. Has there been any consideration of the impact on Japanese current, and, ultimately, the California and Alaskan currents? If so, what are the expected results?


Good question! And I'm happy that I can tell you that there has been some thought devoted to this and there doesn't seem to be a problem. Some radioactivity has been found in the seawater immediately adjacent to the Fukushima reactor plants but, moving farther away, I haven't read of any radioactivity being seen in seawater near Alaska or the U.S. West Coast.

This is actually not a surprise—the amounts of iodine in the air are pretty low  and the ocean is so large that whatever settles out of the air into the water will be undetectable. In addition, from what I know, tests of seafood in the Pacific have also shown no detectable iodine. So as near as I can tell there's nothing to worry about.

I hope this helps.

P. Andrew Karam, PhD, CHP
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