[ RadSafe ] Assessing Fukushima-derived radiocesium in migratory Pacific predators

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Mon Jul 17 23:15:34 CDT 2017

Surprisingly, anti-nuclear activist Dun Renard said "Good news" but
qualified it with "if true".  Abstract looks like article is result of
solid research, but that is all that I can read since I do not belong
to the American Chemical Society - used to be the after hours
librarian at the Chemistry Library at the University at Buffalo way
back when I was a financially struggling undergrad.

Roger Helbig


Assessing Fukushima-derived radiocesium in migratory Pacific predators

Daniel James Madigan, Zofia Baumann, Owyn E Snodgrass, Heidi Dewar,
Michelle Berman-Kowalewski, Kevin C. Weng, Jun Nishikawa, Peter H
Dutton, and Nicholas S. Fisher
Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00680
Publication Date (Web): July 17, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society


The 2011 release of Fukushima-derived radionuclides into the Pacific
Ocean made migratory sharks, teleosts, and marine mammals a source of
speculation and anxiety regarding radiocesium (134+137Cs)
contamination, despite a lack of actual radiocesium measurements for
these taxa. We measured radiocesium in a diverse suite of large
predators from the North Pacific Ocean and report no detectable (i.e.,
≥ 0.1 Bq kg-1 dry wt) of Fukushima-derived 134Cs in all samples,
except in one olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) with
trace levels (0.1 Bq kg-1). Levels of 137Cs varied within and across
taxa, but were generally consistent with pre-Fukushima levels and were
lower than naturally-occurring 40K by one to two orders of magnitude.
Predator size had a weaker effect on 137Cs and 40K levels than tissue
lipid content. Predator stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) were
used to infer recent migration patterns, and showed that predators in
the central, eastern, and western Pacific should not be assumed to
accumulate detectable levels of radiocesium a priori. Non-detection of
134Cs and low levels of 137Cs in diverse marine megafauna far from
Fukushima confirms negligible increases in radiocesium, with levels
comparable to those prior to the release from Fukushima. Reported
levels can inform recently developed models of cesium transport and
bioaccumulation in marine species.

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