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Wildfire weather severity forecast for June 2019

May 16th, 2019

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Concerns about Radiation from Fukushima in Our Waters

We continue to receive questions about possible radiation in our local water supply due to radiation from Fukushima. It is important to distinguish between air borne and ocean driven contaminants, and between inland and coastal waters.

No Detectable Radioactive Contamination from Fukushima in Our Tap Water Sources

Our tap water in Metro Vancouver comes from mountainous fresh water sources; open reservoirs that could be subject to air borne contamination. However, Metro Vancouver continues to test these tap water sources for radioactivity as well as for hundreds of other possible contaminants. The only radionuclides that continue to be observed in our water reservoirs at levels above the detection limit are those associated with the local erosion of mineral deposits, a natural activity typical of most areas on planet Earth.

Radiation from Fukushima Detected at Ucluelet Shoreline

Our coastal waters are a different story. Although the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima occurred more than 4 years ago, “massive amounts of radioactively contaminated water continue to flow into the Pacific Ocean.” The first North American shoreline sample testing positive for radiation from Fukushima was collected on our coastline at Ucluelet, BC on February 19, 2015.

Although current assessments anticipate minimal negative impact for British Columbia and North America, the situation calls for ongoing monitoring.  Find out more about InFORM, the BC-based group of citizen scientists that is monitoring and reporting radiation from Fukushima in our coastal waters in collaboration with a lab at the University of Victoria, the internationally acclaimed testing facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Health Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and is funded by MEOPAR, a National Centre of Excellence.  See our article about InFORM.

Updated December 22nd, 2015: Health Canada has just released (Dec 2015) a Summary Report on Fukushima Accident Contaminants in Canada (link to Health Canada, PDF available on page) and a technical report Special Environmental Radiation in Canada Report on Fukushima Accident Contaminants (links to PDF hosted by Fukushima InForm. For additional copies see instructions on Health Canada’s Summary Report page). Fukushima InForm has commented as follows (Dec 21st, 2015) regarding this report:

The Impact of the Fukushima on Canada: Health Canada Reports

 

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