Fukushima Water Contamination – Impacts on the U.S. West Coast

Great East Japan Earthquake In March of 2011, a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake struck off of the coast of Japan, killing 15,889 people. This massive earthquake became known as the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the Great East Japan Earthquake. The destruction of the Great East Japan Earthquake did not cease after the tsunami waves stopped crashing into the Japanese coast. As a direct result of the tsunami waves, Japan experienced a series of nuclear catastrophes at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. At the three reactors within Fukushima, level 7 nuclear meltdowns occurred, threatening both power plant employees and local Japanese citizens. Soon after the nuclear meltdowns, concerns of radioactive leakage and damage to the environment surfaced. These fears spread all the way to the coast of the United States, as the U.S. public became increasingly worried about public health risks posed by Fukushima radiation leaking into the Pacific Ocean.

To help address these concerns, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently released an updated report titled, Fukushima Water Contamination – Impacts on the U.S. West Coast. This report states the facts concerning Fukushima water contamination and any potential U.S. radiation contamination dangers. Specifically, the report states that, “[t]he available evidence continues to lead the NRC and other Federal, State and local governments to conclude the low levels of radiation leaking into the ocean from Fukushima Daiichi fall well short of posing any U.S. health or environmental risk.”

The report continues with the following sections of information to support its bottom line statement that the radiation leakage from Japan, “…falls well short of posing…” any risk to U.S. citizens:

  • The Facts: Fukushima Daiichi Contaminated Ground Water
  • The Facts: What is Being Done
  • The Facts: Impacts to the U.S. and Ongoing Monitoring
  • Technical Background: Water Safety and Radiation
  • Technical Background: The Fukushima Daiichi NPS (Nuclear Power Station)
  • Technical Background: For More Information

For more information about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, make sure to check out the following reports, two of which are directly available through the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL log-in may be required):


Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/em-fukushima-water-contamination-impacts-of-the-u-s-west-coast-em