Seaweeds and Radiation
The University of California-Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department has tested our 2013, 2014 and 2015 harvest of seaweeds for Fukushima radioactivity, and none was detected!
We always harvest for the year ahead, so we will be selling our 2015 harvest throughout 2016. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information about radiation and testing of our seaweeds.
Our government’s failure to publish information about radiation levels in our air, water and food since the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 2011 has resulted in an information vacuum. Unfortunately, this vacuum has been largely filled by a series of alarming internet rumors, posts and blogs. Some of these stories were founded on facts that have been taken out of context. Others are pure fabrications. Almost all were written by people with little or no expertise in the relevant fields of knowledge.
Kari and I have closely followed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster and the subsequent releases and movements of radioactive elements (radionuclides) via airborne fallout and ocean currents.
Our primary source of information about levels of Fukushima radioactivity in air, water and food has been the U.C. Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department. In April 2011 they began testing northern California seaweeds, as well as samples of northern California air, rainwater, soil, grasses, spinach, kale, strawberries, milk, salmon etc. All test results are posted on the U.C. Berkeley Radwatch website. A wealth of other useful information can be found there as well.
To date, Fukushima radioactivity has not been detected in any northern California seaweeds, even though small but detectable levels were observed in some 2011 samples of air, rainwater, soil, grasses, spinach, kale, strawberries, milk, etc
However, we are concerned that ocean currents could carry detectable amounts of Fukushima radionuclides to the California coast. Fortunately, we can rely on KelpWatch 2015 for accurate and up-to-date information. Kelpwatch 2015 is a major scientific effort to monitor west coast kelps for Fukushima radionuclides. Researchers from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and U.C. Berkeley designed this project. Again, as of November 2015, no Fukushima radionuclides have been observed.
Kari and I will continue to test our seaweeds and post the results here. Again, please feel free to contact us if you have questions about radiation and testing of our seaweeds.