FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06/27/2014
Inletkeeper Testing Cook Inlet for Fukushima Radiation
“Crowdsource” Funding Site to Pay for Sample
HOMER, AK – Cook Inletkeeper today announced efforts to test waters in Lower Cook Inlet for radiation. The testing comes in response to concerns about radiation from the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the implications for Alaskan fisheries and consumers.
“We’ve received countless calls from Alaskans concerned about possible radiation contamination in Alaskan waters,” said Inletkeeper Executive Director Bob Shavelson. “So, we decided to team up with the experts at Woods Hole and get some answers.”
In summer 2011, Inletkeeper contacted renowned marine radiation expert Dr. Ken Buesseler at Woods Hole’s Center for Marine and Environmental Radiation to inquire about possible threats to Alaska waters and fisheries. Dr. Buesseler’s opinion at the time – which continues to this day – is that despite considerable amounts of radiation discharged from the damaged reactor off Japan, there is little risk to fisheries and consumers in Alaska waters.
Unfortunately, false information circulated on the internet about the risks posed by Fukushima – including a dramatic map claiming to show Fukushima radiation, which actually showed tsunami wave effects – raised public concerns.
In light of the importance of clean water and healthy fisheries to Alaskans, Inletkeeper is now raising funds to collect and test water samples in Kachemak Bay for radiation. This information will establish baseline data and allow us to better understand any changes in conditions that may occur. The samples will be sent to Dr. Buesseler’s laboratory for analysis, and we will make the data publicly available.
In order to pay for the sampling effort, Inletkeeper has established a crowdsource funding site, so Alaskans can support radiation testing in Cook Inlet.
Links to additional resources on Fukushima radiation are available at:
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration
- Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
- Wood’s Hole – Center for Marine & Environmental Radiation
- Fukushima and the Ocean Oceanus Magazine article (Spring 2013)
- FAQs: Radiation from Fukushima
- Marine radiation expert Dr. Ken Buesseler’s presentation "Fukushima: A View from the Ocean," June 18, 2014. Download slide presentation here.