Monitoring remains important, after radioactive sample found near Agassiz

  • Mar. 19, 2014 7:00 p.m.

Haida Gwaii tsunami debris has tested negative to radiation contamination thus far, but low radioactivity found recently in the Fraser Valley suggests islanders should keep the samples coming.Radioactive Cesium 134 was discovered in a soil sample from Kilby Provincial Park, near Agassiz, the Vancouver Sun reported on March 12. The sample was submitted by a citizen, Aki Aano.Scientists are concerned because the radioactivity of cesium 134 is reduced by half over two years, which indicates it was transported from the Japanese nuclear plant disaster by air or water within that time.”it means there are still emissions… And trans-pacific air pollution. It’s a concern to us. This is an international issue,” Juan Jose Alva of Simon Fraser’s School of Resource and Environmental Management told the Sun.The level of Cesium 134 is not yet known, but it is thought to be low. Dr. Alva said the levels are safe right now, but that monitoring needs to continue to see whether those small levels are building in the food chain.”(Dr. Alva) said recent federal government cutbacks have placed a greater burden of testing and monitoring for aquatic impacts on academics, non-governmental organizations and even private citizens,” according to the Sun.In January, the Observer reported that Professor Jay Cullen of the University of Victoria wanted islanders and other west coast residents to submit samples to be tested for radiation associated with the Fukushima disaster.Dr. Cullen said he thought there should be more monitoring because, although release rates started dropping off since the disaster, the radioactive discharge will continue.He told the Observer the Vancouver Sun was irresponsible to imply that a health risk exists from the Agassiz sample. “The resultsÂ… were reported prematurely… They detected trace amounts of 134-cs in one soil sample and none in four other samples from the same park. They are working on replicating the analysis and having more confidence in the presence of 134-cs. Because knowing the concentration is critically important to assigning any radiological health risk, the Sun piece was irresponsible to imply that heath risks exist. The commentsÂ…about there being continued atmospheric release and transport across the pacific were unfounded and very speculative. It is much more likely that if 134-cs is present in the soil it has been there since the peak period of atmospheric transport in the first two weeks after the accident on March 11, 2011. Knowing both the 134-cs and 137-cs will be very important for determining what the source of the radionuclides ultimately is,” Dr. Cullen said.Old Massett Village Council’s Economic Development Officer John Disney is also accepting samples and has been monitoring the testing station which takes readings of the air every 10 seconds.”All OK in Old Massett so far,” was his response Friday when we asked him about recent tests for radiation.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read