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Radioactive Material Accumulating In Sands & Brackish Groundwater Of Beaches Up To 60 Miles From Fukushima via Clean Technica

Radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster is accumulating in the sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away from the nuclear power plant itself, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on October 2.

The new study is the first to identify radioactive accumulations in this previously unsuspected place — the accumulations in question being radioactive cesium.

[…]

The theory proposed in the new study is that high levels of radioactive cesium-137 were transported along the coast following the 2011 nuclear disaster, and subsequently got “stuck” to surfaces of grains of sand, rather than being nearly immediately dispersed and diluted as was “expected.”

“No one expected that the highest levels of cesium in ocean water today would be found not in the harbor of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, but in the groundwater many miles away below the beach sands,” stated researcher Virginie Sanial of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

That may well be true, but it’s also true that there people who acknowledge that accurately modeling systems as complex as those found in the natural world is essentially impossible — and who would argue that the precautionary principle should be kept in mind when dealing with something as dangerous as nuclear power. After all, predictions relating to outcomes are only ever going to be of related accuracy.

[…]

So, what the new research does in essence is provide yet another example of the way that nuclear disasters and nuclear contamination can impact the natural environment in ways that aren’t immediately expected or intuitive to most.

Read more at Radioactive Material Accumulating In Sands & Brackish Groundwater Of Beaches Up To 60 Miles From Fukushima

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