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Fukushima - A View
From The Ocean

Live-streamed on June 5, 2014

Watch the video above to see a presentation by Woods Hole oceanographer, Dr. Ken Buesseler, on the radioactive releases from Fukushima. Some refreshments will be provided.

The triple disaster of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation releases at Fukushima Dai-ichi were unprecedented events for the ocean and society. This presentation will provide an overview of studies of Fukushima radionuclides in the ocean. The radioactive releases from Fukushima will be compared to natural and prior human sources. The fate and transport of cesium and its uptake by fish and impacts on Japanese fisheries will be discussed. Although levels of cesium in the ocean and being released from Fukushima nuclear power plants three years later are a thousand times lower than in 2011, other isotopes such as strontium-90 are becoming of greater concern as they are elevated relative to cesium in the groundwater and storage tanks at the reactor site. Across the Pacific, ocean currents carrying Fukushima cesium will be detectable along the west coast of North America at some point in 2014, and though models predict levels below those considered of human health concern, measurements are needed. A report will be given on Our Radioactive Ocean, a citizen scientist website launched to monitor the arrival of Fukushima cesium along the west coast over the coming 2-3 years. 


About The Speaker

Dr. Ken Buesseler, Department of Maine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, specializes in the study of natural and man-made radionuclides in the ocean. His work includes studies of fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Dr. Buesseler has served as Chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI, as Executive Scientist of the US Joint Global Ocean Fluxes Planning and Data Management Office and two years as an Associate Program Director at the US National Science Foundation, Chemical Oceanography Program. In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and in 2011 he was noted as the top cited ocean scientist by the Times Higher Education for the decade 2000-2010. He is currently Director of the new Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at WHOI. More info at his Café Thorium web site.

Ken Buesseler

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