Two New Pacific Radiation Monitoring Programs Launch

Kelp_forest-blueWoods Hole has officially launched their program to continue testing the Pacific for cesium concentrations due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The website has information on how people or communities can sponsor testing or supply samples. Currently the testing completed to date by Woods Hole has been put online on an interactive map. The interactive map can be viewed directly here. The completed samples from 2012 showed what appears to be a slight elevation of cesium 137 in the Pacific on the eastern side. Some locations continued to also identify cesium 134, a marker that indicates Fukushima origin. Levels closer to the North American coast showed lower cesium 137 and no cesium 134 hinting that these 2012 levels were residual contamination from atomic testing. 2013 samples are still being processed and are not on their map as of yet.

A group of California and Mexican university programs have teamed up with the Lawrence Berkeley Low Background lab to begin testing certain seaweeds for radiation beginning in 2014. A press release did not mention an ongoing website to watch the project. All work being done so far is on a voluntary basis by the oceanographic teams and the federal lab due to a lack of government funding. Kelp Watch press release

photo credit | wikipedia

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