Two IAEA experts examine recovery work on top of Unit 4 of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station two years after the disaster as part of a mission to review Japan’s plans to decommission the facility. (Greg Webb/IAEA)

Study finds no environmental harm from Fukushima

Another study has shown the B.C. coast has not suffered any adverse effects from the 2011 Fukushina nuclear disaster in Japan.

Krzysztof Starosta, a chemist at Simon Fraser University’s nuclear science lab, led a study looking for radioactive isotopes Cesium 134 and 137 in soil and salmon collected from rivers near Quesnel and Harrison. The isotopes are not found in nature, and act as signatures of a nuclear reaction.

While the team did find traces of both isotopes in soil and salmon, Starosta said the levels were very low. Most of the Cesium 137 actually dated from 1960s nuclear weapons tests and the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, not the Fukushima disaster.

“The levels found in both the salmon and soil samples remained below Canada’s safety guidelines, posing minimal health risk to B.C.’s salmon and human populations,” Starosta said in a press release.

“Our findings that the environmental impact of the Fukushima accident in Western Canada was insignificant is a relief, and these results add to a knowledge base that will be useful for future research.”

The study was published in the Canadian Journal of Chemistry, and won the journal’s 2018 Best Paper Award.

An earlier study by University of Victoria oceanographer Jay Cullen reached a similar conclusion based on samples that included the waters around Haida Gwaii.

On March 11, 2011, a powerful tsunami caused a power outage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan, which led to partial meltdowns in three reactors.

Starosta said after the disaster, researchers have learned more about how wind and weather can transport radioactive particles, and also how their levels can build up over time in animals.

Japan held a memorial ceremony in Tokyo on Sunday to remember the over 18,000 people who died in the tsunami. Another 70,000 people were forced to leave their homes.

With files from the Canadian Press

Just Posted

Maritime Museum project receives legacy grant

A special project of the Dixon Entrance Maritime Museum Society has been… Continue reading

Richardson Ranch celebrating 100 years of family and ranching in Haida Gwaii

Tlell Polled Hereford’s continue to win awards while the ranch becomes a popular spot for visitors

Indigenous voices finally heard with final MMIWG report, says Northwest B.C. advocate

The report contains more than 200 recommendations to multiple levels of government

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

New exhibit at Haida Gwaii Heritage Centre, Kay Llnagaay

Ubiquitous Cocoons: My metamorphosing life by Kathy Pick will be running until Sept. 1, 2019

First ever Nisga’a mortuary totem pole unveiled in Prince Rupert cemetery on Father’s Day weekend

The pole was unveiled at Fairview Cemetery in honour of the late Robert Tait, renowned carver

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Police probe report of shooting as Raptors rally continues

There were reports of a woman being injured at the event that celebrates the team’s NBA title win

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

First ever Nisga’a mortuary totem pole unveiled in Prince Rupert cemetery on Father’s Day weekend

The pole was unveiled at Fairview Cemetery in honour of the late Robert Tait, renowned carver

Most Read