Help Crowd Fund Radiation Tests in Cook Inlet!
On March 11, 2011, a powerful 9.0 earthquake pushed up the ocean floor in the South Pacific Ocean, creating a giant tsunami with waves over 130 ft high, that caused massive damage and loss of life across Japan. Incredible videos emerged showing the tsunami as it pushed into – and over – coastal areas around Japan.
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex suffered considerable damage. Direct impacts to the facility and to the engines that cooled the reactor caused a “meltdown”, where operators lost control of the containment around the facility’s “core” which housed its radioactive fuel rods.
Three years later, Japanese officials are still struggling to contain Fukushima’s radiation, and Japan has installed bans on fishing and fish consumption in the vicinity of the facility. But further downstream – on the west coast of the U.S. and Alaska – some continue to raise concerns about possible contamination in fish and shellfish.
Cook Inletkeeper takes these concerns seriously, and we’ve fielded countless calls from Alaskans concerned about the safety of our seafood. Unfortunately, some alarmist web sites and blogs have fanned the flames of hysteria by publishing false and misleading information. For example, one image that went viral on the Internet portrayed a diagram of tsunami wave action generated by the March 2011 earthquake, but it was misrepresented as a diagram of radiation levels, with rays radiating throughout the Pacific Ocean to California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.
Cook Inletkeeper has reviewed the scientific evidence on radiation contamination of fish from the West Coast and Alaska, and we have not found any evidence of a problem. According to experts in the field, the dilution factors are simply too great – despite the longevity of radiation – to impact our waters. But just to make sure, we’re teaming up with top experts at Woods Hole’s Center for Marine and Environmental Radiation (CMER) to collect water samples in Cook Inlet. This data will compliment sampling efforts now underway in fish tissues in the Gulf of Alaska and elsewhere by the US Food & Drug Administration in conjunction with the State of Alaska.
The health and safety of Alaska seafood is vitally important. Alaskans consume more fish than any other state, and the marketability of our commercially-caught fish hinges on a fresh and wholesome product. That’s why I hope you’ll support our efforts to test water quality in Cook Inlet for radioactive isotopes.
Other Links About Radiation
- RESULTS IN FROM FIRST COOK INLET TEST
- FDA Response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Facility Incident
- Alaska DEC: Fukushima Radiation Concerns in Alaska
- NOAA: Japan Tsunami Marine Debris
- Japanese Nuclear Emergency: EPA's Radiation Monitoring
- FDA/NOAA factsheet
Help us fund radiation testing in Cook Inlet. Each test will cost about $1000 and our goal is to do three tests this summer.