OLYMPIA, Washington -- Radiation leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan has been detected in seaweed in Puget Sound, but
researchers say there's no need for alarm.
KIRO 7 obtained samples of seaweed from Budd Inlet near Olympia two weeks ago. Professor Kris Starosta at Simon Fraser University confirmed the
presence of radioactive iodine Monday.
"We have seen iodine 131 in the sample you sent us," he said. "I think it's pretty clear by now this must be iodine 131 from releases from
The confirmation came on the same day Japan raised the crisis level at the plant from 5 to 7, the highest level on the international scale.
"I think it is surprising," Starosta said. "I guess I was assuming it wouln't reach this far, but it did."
The radiation levels found in the seaweed are lower than those detected in Vancouver, B.C., two weeks ago, possibly because the samples came from the
beach and not underwater, Starosta said.
Some people we spoke with expressed concern about the radiation, but Starosta said it posed no danger to people.
"The impact so far we see from the releases -- the impact on the west coast of North America -- is really minimal," he said.
To put things in perspective, Starosta said that if you were to eat 2 pounds of dried seaweed with the highest levels of radiation he and his team had
detected, it would be the equivalent of getting one dental X-ray.
edit on 12-4-2011 by mileslong54 because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-4-2011 by mileslong54 because: (no reason