Fukushima: Radioactivity in the ocean

Sampling during a cruise in May of 2013 directly off the failed Fukushima nuclear power plant
Sampling during a cruise in May of 2013 directly off the failed Fukushima nuclear power plant (left: Z. Baumann, right: D. Madigan)

“Flux Of Radiocesium Within and Across Residents of the Deep” in short FORWARD is a collaborative project between Zofia Baumann, Nicholas S. Fisher (SBU), Daniel J. Madigan (Harvard) and Jun Nishikawa (Tokay University)

We are investigating the pathways by which radioactive cesium (134Cs and 137Cs), which was released into the coastal Pacific following the Great Tohoku Earthquake, tsunami that consequently caused failure of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, enters marine organisms resident to the adjacent coastal region. Sediments in that area are highly contaminated with 134Cs and 137Cs. Our investigation focuses on contaminated sediments which may serve as a significant source of these radioactive Cs isotopes to organisms that are part of the benthic food web off Fukushima.