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Fukushima- A View From The Ocean
- Ken Buesseler (Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA)
- Azby Brown (Safecast’s lead researcher and author of the Safecast Report)
The triple disaster of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation releases at Fukushima Dai-ichi were unprecedented events for the ocean and society. This pubic lecture will provide an overview and 8 year update regarding the radioactive contaminants released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants. The talk will consider the radioactive world we live in and address the specific fate of Fukushima radionuclides in the ocean, with an eye to the future ocean. The emphasis is on the radioactive forms of cesium, though other radionuclides are also considered. Topics include: sources from atmospheric and ocean discharges in 2011; a Pacific Ocean time-series that tracks the transport of contaminants across the ocean; an extended time-series in marine fish that examines species specific variability in radionuclide content; and a discussion of the burial of particle associated contaminants on the seafloor. The look to the future includes estimates of ongoing releases from groundwater associated with beach sands in comparison to other land sources, such as rivers and operations during decommissioning. We end by considering the long term trends in radioactivity levels in marine biota and sediments, with comparisons to other sites in the world, and open discussion on key issues that have yet to be resolved, such as the fate of contaminated water in the storage tanks and discovery of cesium microparticles.
Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
Dr. Ken Buesseler is a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who specializes in the study of natural and man-made radionuclides in the ocean. His work includes studies of fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants.
Dr. Buesseler has served as Chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI, and two years as an Associate Program Director at the US National Science Foundation, Chemical Oceanography Program. He is currently Director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at WHOI, and regularly speaks to public audiences and engages citizens as part of Our Radioactive Ocean. More info at his “Café Thorium” web site.
Safecast’s lead researcher and author of the Safecast Report
Azby Brown is a native of New Orleans, and has lived in Japan since 1985. He is a leading authority on Japanese architecture, design, and environmentalism, and the author of The Very Small Home (2005), Just Enough: Lessons in living green from traditional Japan (2010), and The Genius of Japanese Carpentry (2014). He joined the Faculty of Architecture at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology in 1995. In 2003 Azby founded the KIT Future Design Institute, focusing on cognitive and cultural issues surrounding the human hand and its use in the creative process.
Since the start of Fukushima Nuclear Powerplant disaster in March 2011, Azby has been closely involved with assisting affected communities and analyzing and reporting the issues they face. He is Safecast’s lead researcher, and is primary author of the Safecast Report.