Radiation from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has for the first time been detected off the coast of Canada. Scientists say that the levels are too low to pose a significant threat to human or marine life.
RT report: Trace amounts of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 were discovered in samples collected on February 19 in the waters near Vancouver Island in British Columbia, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist Kern Buesseler.
“Radioactivity can be dangerous, and we should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history,” a statement from the institute read.
But they have insisted that marine and human life will remain unscathed, as the levels are extremely low: So low that a dental X-ray would expose a person to 1,000 times more radiation than swimming off the coast of Vancouver every day for an entire year.
By contrast, radiation found off the Fukushima coast in the immediate aftermath of the March 2011 catastrophe showed readings of a million times more Becquerels per square meter than the 5.8 Becquerels of Cesium-134 and 137 found off Canada.
A similar situation to Woods Hole’s report arose last year, 161 kilometers (100 miles) off the coast of northern California. Readings did not show an advance toward the rest of the US since then.
However, scientists need to be on the lookout constantly: Buesseler adds that “predicting the spread of radiation becomes more complex the closer it gets to the coast.”