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devastated Fukushima, Japan, and later this year debris from that event should begin to wash up on U.S. shores – and one question many have asked is whether that will pose a radiation risk. The simple answer is, no.
However, that’s not to say that all of the debris that reaches Pacific Coast shores in the United States and Canada will be harmless.
“The tsunami impacted several industrial areas and no doubt swept out to sea many things like bottled chemicals or other compounds that could be toxic,” said Kathryn Higley, professor and head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at OSU.
“If you see something on the beach that looks like it may have come from this accident, you shouldn’t assume that it’s safe,” Higley said. “People should treat these debris with common sense; there could be some things mixed in there that are dangerous. But it will have nothing to do with radioactive contamination.”