Scientists expect traces of ocean radiation soon

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Updated: 3/14 9:24 pm

Scientists have crowdsourced a network of volunteers taking water samples at beaches from Alaska to California to capture a detailed look at low levels of radiation drifting across the ocean since the 2011 tsunami that devastated the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

With the risk to public health extremely low, scientists say the effort is more about perfecting computer models predicting chemical and radiation spills than bracing for a threat.

Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, says despite the low risks, it is still important to measure the spread of the biggest pulse of radioactive liquid ever dropped in the ocean.

Computer models predict it could start showing up on the West Coast as early as April.

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