No Worries: Fukushima Radiation Didn't Make it to L.A. Beaches | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

No Worries: Fukushima Radiation Didn't Make it to L.A. Beaches

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Thu, May 8, 2014 at 8:01 AM
Despite some dire predictions that had us wondering if all surfboards and wetsuits would one day be glowing with neon-green atomic activity, radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant doesn't appear to have reached the shores of Los Angeles.

See also: Japan Earthquake: Could Nuclear Power Plant Radiation Reach L.A?

You are cleared to hit the beach this summer and allow only the raging sun to give your skin the radiation it doesn't really need.

The research group Kelp Watch 2014 this week concluded in a statement that "the West Coast shoreline shows no signs of ocean-borne radiation from Japan's [2011] Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster." Woo-hoo!

Kelp Watch is a collaboration between Steven Manley, marine biology professor at Cal State Long Beach, and Kai Vetter a nuclear physics and engineering guru at both the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley.

The duo tests kelp beds for signs of radiation. Twenty-eight samples collected from Kodiak Island, Alaska to Baja February 24 through March 14 found zero of the atomic stuff, the two say.

Sites in Hawaii and Guam also turned up negative.

See also: It's the Three-Year Anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster! Can I Eat Sushi Yet?

While you might have been worried about Fukushima water turning up at Surfrider State Beach, Venice, or El Porto, the real areas of concern are the coasts of Alaska and Washington state, where Pacific currents would have first brought any Japanese radiation.

It isn't happening, though, the researchers say. 

"The tell-tale isotopic signature of Fukushima, Cs-134, was not seen, even at ... incredibly low detection limits," Manley said.

See also: Radioactive Rain Detected in Los Angeles

So break out your Boogie board, pick out a nice bikini, and hit the water knowing you won't come back out with a third eye. Manley:
Our data does not show the presence of Fukushima radioisotopes in West Coast Giant Kelp or Bull Kelp. These results should reassure the public that our coastline is safe, and that we are monitoring it for these materials.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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