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Press Release 11-258

Scientists Assess Radioactivity in the Ocean From Japan Nuclear Power Facility

New study analyzes radioactivity from facility in first months after accident

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Map showing 30 km area around Fukushima reactor site affected by released radioactivity.

A new study analyzes levels of radioactivity released to the ocean in the Japan accident.

Credit: Ken Buesseler, WHOI


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Image of marine chemist Ken Buesseler making a final inspection of a water-sampling rosette.

Marine chemist Ken Buesseler makes a final inspection of a water-sampling rosette.

Credit: Ken Kostel, WHOI


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Map showing the Kuroshio Current off Japan in June 2011 as measured by sea level anomalies.

Radioactivity is expected to follow the Kuroshio Current off Japan.

Credit: WHOI


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Map showing path and sampling locations of June oceanographic research expedition.

Map of path of June oceanographic research expedition; white dots are sampling stations.

Credit: WHOI


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World map showing Cesium-137 in the surface ocean as of 1990.

Background radiation in oceans and seas around the globe varies depending on location.

Credit: WHOI


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Illustration showing human sources of Cesium-137 compared to natural radionuclides in the ocean.

Human and natural sources of radiation in the ocean are compared over the past 60 years.

Credit: WHOI


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