Radiation from Japan's Fukushima reactor detected on shores of Vancouver Island
VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — Radiation from the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor has been detected on the shores of British Columbia's Vancouver Island, four years after a deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan killed 16,000 people.
University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen said Monday that it's the first time radiation has been found on the shorelines of North America since the quake and tsunami ravaged the Japanese north coast and disabled the nuclear reactor.
He says low levels of the radioactive isotope Cesium-134, which scientists say can only come from Fukushima, were found in waters collected on Feb. 19 off a dock at Ucluelet, British Columbia, about 195 miles west of Victoria.
Cullen says the levels are so low "that we don't expect there to be impacts on the health of either the marine environment or people living along the coast."
He leads a marine radioactivity monitoring network formed last August that includes scientists in Canada and the U.S., health experts, non-governmental organizations and citizens who help collect samples along the Pacific coast.