Fukushima has Positive Fallout for Marine Science
Radiation tracks movements of animals, water and atmosphere.
(From Nature.com / by Alice Lighton) – Pacific bluefin tuna have carried radiation across the ocean from Japan to California. The radioactivity is well below levels that would cause concern for human health, but the results show that fallout from the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last year provides an unusual opportunity to track the animals, air and water of the Pacific Ocean.
Bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) spawn in Japanese waters before swimming to the Californian coast. Researchers who tested 15 fish caught after the disaster in March 2011 found that all contained traces of caesium-134, a water-soluble radioisotope spewed into the ocean by the meltdown. Fish that travelled to California before 2011 did not carry the isotope. The results were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.