The 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan shook the entire globe, leaving thousands of people without homes and affecting hundreds of people with radiation poisoning. Now, a report from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has claimed that the US coast may be under threat of radiation from Fukushima, the west coast, to be more specific.
The disaster occurred to a massive earthquake which produced a tsunami that hurdled towards the coast of Japan, directly hitting the nuclear power plant of Fukushima. This caused a triple nuclear meltdown, forcing over 160.000 people to immediately vacate the area due to the dangers of radiation poisoning and other radiation based illnesses.
The radiation levels investigated off the San Francisco coastline have a level which has not been seen ever before in that region, alarming scientists across the west coast. The highest radiation quantity found in the over 100 water samples taken by the Woods Hole institute have been found approximately 1.600 miles from the coast, with levels reaching upwards to 50 times their normal scale.
Even though this level is not high enough for the public at large to feel threatened in any way, taking into account that the levels which pose a threat to both human and aquatic life needs to be 500 times higher than the ones currently reached, this urges scientists to carefully monitor the situation at hand.
This specific type of radiation revolves around the isotope Cesium-137 which has an average radioactive life of 30 or so years. This isotope discovery in the waters off the west coast of the US may not pose a severe threat to the nation’s citizens, it can even help scientists identify in a much more reliable manner the way in which specific water currents flow. By tracking the isotope through satellites equipped with radiation monitoring technology, they will be able to see the ebb and flow of ocean waters in a direct manner, without the need of an on-site team.
The radiation from the Fukushima disaster is not the only one who left traces in our close waters. The nuclear experiments carried over twenty years ago have also left bits and piece of the same cesium isotope found currently offshore San Francisco. This helps scientists to better understand the way in which our waters, as well as our whole planet, disposes of such radiation in a much more approachable way.
Even though the US coast may be under threat of radiation from Fukushima, this is not a cause to panic, due to the low levels of radiation reached. But because this actually occurred, the threat of a far off nuclear blast occurring is still present. No matter how far the nuclear incident occurs, it will eventually spread around the globe, with or without any help.