Fukushima: A View from the Ocean with Ken Buesseler

June 18, 2022 @ 12:00am (AKDT)

More than three years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan, questions remain about how much radioactive material has been released and how widely and quickly it is dispersing across the Pacific Ocean. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are partnering with coastal communities from southern California to Alaska to collect seawater samples and raise funds for analyses that provide the latest information about radiation levels in the ocean. Join Ken Buesseler, marine chemist and director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at WHOI for an update on what is known about radioactivity levels in the Pacific Ocean and to learn more about the unique collaboration between concerned citizens and scientists and how Alaskans can get involved.

This call is presented by ACAT’s Alaska Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE-Alaska).

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WHOI senior scientist Ken Buesseler has collected and analyzed the seawater surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant since the 2011 disaster. As the low-level radiation travels across the Pacific, Buesseler has launched a crowd sourcing campaign and website to monitor radiation levels along the West Coast of North America. (Photo courtesy of Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

WHOI senior scientist Ken Buesseler has collected and analyzed the seawater surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant since the 2011 disaster. As the low-level radiation travels across the Pacific, Buesseler has launched a crowd sourcing campaign and website to monitor radiation levels along the West Coast of North America. (Photo courtesy of Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Ken Buesseler, director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts where he specializes as a senior scientist in the study of natural and manmade radioactive isotopes in the ocean. Buesseler began sampling and analyzing seawater surrounding the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant three months after the disaster. In January 2014, he launched a crowd sourcing campaign and citizen science website to collect and analyze seawater along the West Coast of North America as the radioactive plume travels 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. All of the data is being published on the website, How Radioactive is Our Ocean?

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