Science made public: Fukushima radiation — Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Ken Buesseler from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution presents information on ocean radioactivity; research conducted in June 2011 on radiation concentrations in currents, water and biota; fish studies on both sides of the Pacific; and reactions in Japan. Bueseller begins his presentation with a recap of the March 2011 meltdowns, consequences of the loss of power from the tsunami. About 20,000 people are missing or dead from the tsunami. He then explains how radiation was released through atmospheric fallout and direct release and later goes into specifics on the human and natural sources of radioactivity in the ocean, including concentrations of cesium-137, transport of radiation across the Pacific and contaminated blue fin tuna caught off San Diego.

Buesseler has largely studied thorium and natural radionuclides. His thesis covered the release of plutonium into the environment from the 1960s nuclear weapons testing. Buesseler also studied the similarities and differences between the environmental consequences in Chernobyl to the 1960s nuclear testing zones.

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