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Fukushima radiation found in California kelp via SFGate

Kelp off California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state’s coastline, according to a new scientific study.

Scientists from CSU Long Beach tested giant kelp collected off Orange County, Santa Cruz and other locations after the March 2011 accident and detected radioactive iodine, which was released from the damaged nuclear reactor.

The largest concentration was about 250 times higher than levels found in kelp before the accident.

“Basically, we saw it in all the California kelp blades we sampled,” said Steven Manley, a CSU Long Beach biology professor who specializes in kelp.

The radioactivity had no known effects on the giant kelp, or on fish and other marine life, and it was undetectable a month later.

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