In case you missed it yesterday, Bloomberg is reporting that radiation from the Tsunami damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan has been "significantly undercounted." Of particular concern for us on the Wet Coast is that the radioactive plum of water from the damaged reactor will be hitting our shores, possibly as soon as April.
So far only minute traces of radiation have been recorded in British Columbia waters. This will increase as contaminants disperse eastwards on Pacific currents. But scientists are quick to stress that even the peak measurements will be well within the limits set by safety authorities.
Notwithstanding those assurances, serious concerns are being raised and alarms bells are sounding in the eco system.
Brian Williams, anchor: Environmental officials in California say there’s been another highly troubling report about what’s going on in the Pacific. Something is killing the starfish and they don’t know why. They have been dying in record numbers on the West Coast. [...]
Pete Raimondi, marine biologist: It’s happened so rapidly that some species are just missing. [...]
Miguel Almaguer, reporter: An epidemic affecting waters from Alaska to Southern California causing millions of starfish to fall apart and melt away. [...] Two species that used to thrive here have now vanished. [...]
Raimondi: I’ve had probably 100 emails thus far saying, ‘Well, what about Fukushima, because of radiation?’ We haven’t ruled that out yet, but we’re clearly not ruling that in.
Almaguer: The mysterious disease has now spread to at least 10 species of starfish and is threatening more every day.
There’s something about this outbreak that is very, very different [...] It’s always been associated with warm water in the past — an El Nino event. We’re not in an El Nino event. [...] There’s 2 things that are really bewildering. One, we aren’t in an El Nino event. The second thing is the spatial thing, from Alaska down to Orange County. It’s hard to think of a mechanism that is consistent across that whole area of geography.
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