New study finds no Fukushima radiation in shellfish samples in B.C.

News from Canada on the latest round of testing for Fukushima radiation. For those wanting a deeper dive on the methodology, try the link in the story below.


Thought I would let you know of some good news in case you have been asked about this or have concerns yourself. The Fukushima incident in 2011 led to some concerns over the safety of waters and seafood products in BC, and the implied impacts for humans. A group of scientists were formed to look into this https://fukushimainform.ca/about/to assess what the risks were and to disseminate the information to the public.

Last year the group tested radiation levels in salmon and found nothing of concern. This year they also did salmon sampling, but also included shellfish which is where I was involved. I approached growers around BC, from Prince Rupert to Baynes Sound, to Sunshine Coast and west coast of Vancouver Island, using a variety of shellfish (oysters, scallops, mussels and mussel hybrids) and targeting the tissues that would be eaten by humans (in general whole body but in case of the scallops only the adductor muscle). The analysis of both the tissue and the shell is completed and great news, they found no detectable levels of radiation. You can find more about it here:

https://fukushimainform.ca/2016/11/24/results-from-2016-inform-biotic-monitoring-shellfish-and-vancouver-island-salmon/#more-2489

So far the webpage shows the information from the tissues only, but the shells also did not contain any radiation either and that will be posted shortly. So I thought it would be useful to pass it along to you as producers, but also so you can pass along to any consumers who may have expressed caution. You can now direct them to the study!fukushimainform

I also thought I would share it with you as although none of your animals were tested, it shows species information for producers in the same local area – e.g. Steve and David, you’ll see that Quadra is clean for many species. Darlene – I thought you might like to tell members or to link to it on the BCSGA webpage.

Please let me know if you have any questions and please feel free to direct anyone to the website.

Dr. Helen Gurney-Smith

Biological Effects, Ecosytems and Oceans Science
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
St. Andrews Biological Station
531 Brandy Cove Road

St. Andrews, New Brunswick, E5B 2L9 Canada

No radiation found in B.C. fish after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster – Vancouver Sun

So far, so good. The raw data from the scientists is in.

From http://fukushimainform.ca.

Coastal monitoring: Results from 26 samples, mostly collected in September and October, did not find any of the Fukushima fingerprint isotope, 134Cs (2 year half-life), in the coastal waters. Low levels of 137Cs (~30 year half-life) were present in all of the samples. Also, some of the new results were from June-August, filling in some gaps that are related to calibration of the new spectrometer. No 134Cs was detected in samples returned for that interval.

The maximum allowable concentration of radiocesium in Canadian drinking water is 10,000 Bq m-3. The levels being detected in our citizen science samples are thousands of times lower and are not a risk to the health of the marine ecosystem or the public.

From the Vancouver Sun story:
Nearly five years after a massive earthquake resulted in the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, researchers in B.C. have found no detectable levels of contamination in fish along the West Coast. Contamination in fish had been expected to increase, as levels for radioisotopes cesium-134 and 137 are getting higher in offshore sea water, according to Jay Cullen, a chemical oceanographer at the University of Victoria. But models showing how ocean circulation will carry that contamination suggest there is little reason for concern in B.C. “While we expect the contamination in fish to increase … we don’t expect those levels to approach levels that will be a danger to human health,” Cullen said. Those projected contamination levels won’t be harmful to the fish, either, he added. Bethany Lindsay reports. (Vancouver Sun)

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/radiation+found+local+fish+after+japan+fukushima+nuclear/11737813/story.html

Video: Update on Fukushima radiation

Dr. Ken Buessler, is a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, running the new Center for Marine and Environmental Radiation. He has been a leading voice in getting what scientific data there is on the radiation released (and still being released) from the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns. He was instrumental in forming what little  citizen science based monitoring exists, since the Republican controlled Congress will not fund monitoring, apparently.

This talk, from last month, is an up to date assessment of the situation. We still can be grateful that we have not seen meaningful levels of cesium yet on the west coast. But we cannot be complacent, as the build up of this deadly radioactive isotope is growing, albeit slowly, and could be showing up in seafood captured far off shore. Tuna is one of the most likely fish to have measurable amounts from Fukushima, but still are at levels far below what any scientist feels is of concern. More monitoring is needed, and you can help. See www.ourradioactiveocean.org for funding opportunities for measurements to be gathered from Sequim Bay and other local sites.

Dr. Buessler has recently  helped launch the  Radband, a means of measuring cesium with a sensor built into something small enough to wear on your ankle when you enter the ocean. He also was responsible for the

His web site is http://www.ourradioactiveocean.org

You can also look at http://www.biol.sc.edu/faculty/mosseau

Fukushima from two sides of the Pacific.

Fukushima radiation measured on B.C. shore for 1st time – CBC

We knew this day would come. Levels are still so low as to not be an immediate concern, but this does raise concerns that it will end up building up on the shores. This stuff does not ‘go away’.

Trace amounts of radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan have been detected on North American shores for the first time, but researchers say the amount of radiation is not a concern.  Radioactive forms of the element cesium that could only have come from Fukushima were detected in samples collected on Feb. 19 in Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, with the help of the Ucluelet Aquarium, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reported today. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fukushima-radiation-measured-on-b-c-shore-for-1st-time-1.3022565

Photos: Japanese tsunami debris still washing up on B.C. shores – Vancouver Sun

And on this fourth anniversary of the Fukushima Earthquake, the debris keeps coming. It’s hard to believe it was four years ago.  And the radioactive waste is apparently still spilling into the sea.

March 11, 2015 is the fourth anniversary of the devastating tidal waves that hit Japan after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan’s largest island. Debris from Japan has been washing up on North American shores since 2012. (Vancouver Sun)

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Photos+Japanese+tsunami+debris+still+washing+shores/10877860/story.html

Sockeye, inshore waters test Fukushima-free – Coast Reporter

Good news so far, in that an independent group of citizen scientists and researchers have not been able to find any trace of Fukushima radiation in seawater at the coast of B.C. We hope this testing continues into next year.

As the first batches of seawater samples collected by citizen scientists along the B.C. coast are being analyzed in Victoria, the results of radiation testing on 19 sockeye salmon and steelhead samples have come back negative for Fukushima-related contamination. And tests conducted so far this year on water samples from Prince Rupert to Victoria have also found B.C.’s inshore waters to be Fukushima-free. John Gleeson reports. (Coast Reporter)

Read the whole story at the Coast Reporter site.

http://www.coastreporter.net/news/local-news/sockeye-inshore-waters-test-fukushima-free-1.1688375

Traces Of Fukushima Radioactivity Detected In West Coast Waters – KPLU

We’ve known it was coming for some time, and now it’s been confirmed. The first edges of the plume of radioactivity distinctly known to come from Fukushima is being seen, albeit at extremely low levels. There is no reason not to consume fish from the Pacific at this point, as the levels are so small that you likely are eating radioactivity from other background sources already at these levels. The real concern is if these levels start increasing. The other concern is, “what is being done to stop the radioactive water leaking into the Pacific?” As I understand, it still is at significant levels. The press has just stopped reporting it.

An oceanography institute announced Monday that trace amounts of radioactivity from Japan have been detected off the West Coast. Radiation experts say the low levels of radioactivity measured do not pose a health threat here…. A recent research cruise from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to Eureka, California detected the front edge of the plume multiple times between 100 and 1,000 miles offshore. Tom Banse reports. (KPLU)

http://kplu.org/post/traces-fukushima-radioactivity-detected-west-coast-waters

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