Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Fukushima radiation could reach Pacific coast by April

By David Perlman
Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not yet reached ocean waters along the Pacific coast, but low levels of radioactive cesium from the stricken Japanese power plant could arrive by April, scientists reported Monday.

The report came even as some Internet sites continue claiming that dangerously radioactive ocean water from Fukushima is showing up along California beaches — reports that have been denied by health officials and scientists since they first surfaced more than a month ago.

Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Mass., reported that four coastal monitoring sites in California and Washington have detected no traces of radiation from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant destruction — “not yet,” he said during a telephone press briefing.

The briefing took place in Honolulu during a meeting of the American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences section. The meeting is being held with scientists from both sides of the Pacific to discuss problems caused anywhere in the Pacific by the offshore earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 16, 2011.

Buesseler said no federal or international agencies are monitoring ocean waters from Fukushima on this side of the Pacific, so he has organized volunteer monitors at 16 sites along the California and Washington coasts and two in Hawaii to collect seawater in 20-liter specialized plastic containers and ship them by UPS to his Woods Hole laboratory.

Two specific radioactive isotopes of the element cesium are formed in nuclear accidents, he explained.

One is cesium-137, whose radioactivity decays very slowly — its half-life is 30 years — while the other is cesium-134, which decays rapidly with a two-year half-life. So while cesium-137 is still detectable in the world’s oceans from old nuclear-weapons tests, any traces of cesium-134 that are detected by monitoring instruments could only have come from the Fukushima nuclear accident, Buesseler said.

According to a widely accepted model of the oceans’ circulation patterns, traces of the plume of radioactive seawater from Fukushima should be detectable along the Pacific coast in April.

“We need to know the real levels of radiation coming at us,” said Bing Dong, a retired accountant and self-described activist at Point Reyes Station who has volunteered to collect ocean samples for Buesseler’s project. “There’s so much disinformation out there, and we really need actual data.”

Roger Gilbert, a physician and radiation oncologist who collected water at Fort Bragg along the Mendocino County coast, said he got involved in Buesseler’s monitoring project because he is concerned “over fear-mongering on the Internet about allegedly high levels of Fukushima radiation in California’s coastal waters.”

— Reach David Perlman at dperlman@sfchronicle.com

San Francisco Chronicle

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
 
Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 11 Comments | Gallery

 
Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

 
Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 5 Comments

We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

 
Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8