Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants on Marine Radioactivity

This is a report by Ken Buesseler†*, Michio Aoyama‡, and Masao Fukasawa§

The impacts on the ocean of releases of radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants remain unclear. However, information has been made public regarding the concentrations of radioactive isotopes of iodine and cesium in ocean water near the discharge point. These data allow us to draw some basic conclusions about the relative levels of radionuclides released which can be compared to prior ocean studies and be used to address dose consequences as discussed by Garnier-Laplace et al. in this journal.(1) The data show peak ocean discharges in early April, one month after the earthquake and a factor of 1000 decrease in the month following.

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