Interested in the effects of the Fukushima Disaster on SE Alaska?

The failure of the Fukushima Daiichi Plant on March 11, 2011 caused by the Tohoku Earthquake-induced tsunami that devastated Japan released radiation into the atmosphere and ocean. A plume of radionuclides from Fukushima is estimated to arrive on the west coast  of North America this spring, and Ken Buesseler of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radiation (CMER) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) plans to monitor seawater for the presence of the radionuclide cesium that is linked to the power plant.

His citizen science monitoring program relies on west coast communities fund-raise for the $600 shipping cost to send him a 5 gallon sample of local seawater. Buesseler and other scientists at CMER will analyze the samples and post results on the website

Currently, CMER are hoping to get samples from Ketchikan, Prince William Sound, Kodiak Island, and most recently, Skagway. The Skagway Marine Access Commission has already given the initial $100 to launch a fundraising website. You can find this website at If you have any questions about this project or monitoring for radiation in Skagway, please contact Shelby Surdyk at

Shelby will be screening the film Nuclear Nation at AB Hall on Saturday, February 22nd at 2pm. This documentary shows the effects of the Fukushima Disaster on the residents living in the surrounding region. Shelby will also talk about the monitoring efforts of CMER as well as other ways to monitor for radiation here in Skagway.

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