We started tracking the radioactive cesium released by Fukushima within weeks of the accident.
In fact, U.S. nuclear authorities were extremely worried about the West Coast getting hit by Fukushima radiation … but publicly said it was safe.
We reported that Fukushima radiation spread worldwide.
Sadly, we were right to be worried …
The Journal Environmental Science & Technology – published by the American Chemical Society – reported last year that airborne levels of radioactive cesium were raised by 100 to 1,000 times (what scientists describe as two to three “orders of magnitude“):
Before the FDNPP accident, average 137Cs levels were typically of 1 μBq m−3 in Central Europe and lower average values (<0.3 μBq m−3) were characteristic of northern, western and southern Europe.
During the passage of contaminated air masses from Fukushima, airborne 137Cs levels were globally enhanced by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude.
Indeed, even hot particles and nuclear core fragments from Fukushima were found to have traveled all the way to Europe.
The French government radiation agency – IRSN – released a video of Fukushima cesium hitting the West Coast of North America. EneNews displays a screenshot from the IRSN video, and quantifies the extreme cesium spikes:
- Cesium-137 levels in 2010: 0.000001 mBq/m³ of Cs-137 (blue writing)
- Cesium-137 levels in Mar. 2011: 1 to 10 mBq/m³ in Western U.S. (orange plume)
- Cs-137 levels increased 1,000,000 – 10,000,000 times after Fukushima
Radioactive cesium bioaccumulates in large fish and animals.
The radioactive half life of cesium 137 is usually 30 years. But scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory say that the cesium at Chernobyl will persist in the environment between 5 and 10 times longer – between 180 and 320 years.
And the Fukushima accident has pumped out some entirely new forms of radioactive materials … in “glassy spheres“, buckyballs, ball-like spheres, and bound to organic matter. Scientists don’t really know how long these new forms will last …