Monthly Pacific Northwest Samples

Pacific Ocean currents are predicted to bring the first traces of radioactivity from the Fukushima reactors to the Pacific Northwest. In fact, earlier in 2014 some traces of Cesium-134 were detected in seawater approximately 500 miles off the coast of British Columbia by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Some groups in the Pacific Northwest area have been able to collect more frequent samples in order to attempt to detect the radioactivity when it arrives in those locations. Below is a table showing the results of these measurements. So far, no samples have shown the presence of Cs-134, the radioactive isotope that would unambiguously point to Fukushima as a source.

For a discussion of the radioactive isotopes shown in the table below, please see Results from First Sampling Period.


Sample ID Location
RES-1
Tofino, BC
RES-2
Tofino, BC
RES-3
Tofino, BC
RES-4
Tofino, BC
RES-5
Tofino, BC
DC-1
Bamfield, BC
DC-2
Bamfield, BC
DC-3
Bamfield, BC
DC-4
Bamfield, BC
DC-5
Bamfield, BC
DC-6
Bamfield, BC
RRU-1
Sooke, BC
RRU-2
Sooke, BC
RRU-4
Sooke, BC
WADOH-2
Quillayute Needles Wildlife Refuge, WA
ODFW-3a
Depoe Bay
ODFW-2a
Oregon
ODFW-4a
Depoe Bay, OR
ODFW-2c
Oregon
ODFW-3c
Gregory Point Reserve
ODFW-5c
Gregory Point Research Reserve, OR
ODFW-4c
Gregory Point Research Reserve, OR
ODFW-4d
Cape Arago, OR
ODFW-4b
Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve, OR
ODFW-3b0
Redfish Rocks, OR
ODFW-2b
Oregon
ODFW-5b
Humbug State Park
Anthropogenic Natural
Collection Date Cs-137 Cs-134 I-131 K-40 U-238 series (early) U-238 series (late) Th-232 series (early) Th-232 series (late) Be-7
03/03/2014
0.32 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.18)
3099 ± 8
59.2 ± 1.7
0.75 ± 0.05
0.84 ± 0.13
0.12 ± 0.02
7.25 ± 0.41
05/30/2014
0.35 ± 0.06
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 13)
3794 ± 5
100.5 ± 8.5
2.83 ± 0.06
1.24 ± 0.23
0.17 ± 0.02
nondetect (< 0.84)
07/24/2014
0.20 ± 0.03
nondetect (< 0.03)
nondetect (< 158)
2462 ± 4
149.3 ± 16.5
2.19 ± 0.05
0.91 ± 0.14
0.37 ± 0.03
8.89 ± 1.07
01/10/2015
0.73 ± 0.10
nondetect (< 0.07)
nondetect (< 9.2)
2764 ± 9
249.8 ± 10.7
4.04 ± 0.12
1.76 ± 0.28
1.15 ± 0.09
121.8 ± 2.3
05/28/2015
0.30 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 4)
3112 ± 4
132.4 ± 6
1.9 ± 0.05
0.68 ± 0.16
0.21 ± 0.02
4.4 ±
04/19/2014
0.26 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.05)
nondetect (< 6.7)
3950 ± 6
152.6 ± 7.4
4.1 ± 0.1
1.67 ± 0.14
0.36 ± 0.04
45.1 ± 1.1
05/20/2014
0.44 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.51)
3061 ± 7
87 ± 3
0.37 ± 0.03
nondetect (< 0.12)
0.16 ± 0.02
6.52 ± 0.64
06/26/2014
0.31 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 1.2)
2135 ± 5
55.7 ± 4.4
0.55 ± 0.04
0.49 ± 0.12
0.08 ± 0.01
9.22 ± 0.69
07/15/2014
0.25 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.31)
3314 ± 6
122.3 ± 2.8
2.47 ± 0.06
0.53 ± 0.14
0.25 ± 0.03
4.00 ± 0.51
05/16/2015
0.23 ± 0.02
nondetect (< 0.02)
nondetect (< 0.5)
2772 ± 2
52.2 ± 1.9
1.74 ± 0.03
0.55 ± 0.08
0.08 ± 0.01
7.4 ± 0.3
03/31/2016
0.54 ± 0.06
nondetect (< 0.05)
nondetect (< 11.6)
4571 ± 6
24.5 ± 9.2
1.32 ± 0.06
0.65 ± 0.17
0.11 ± 0.02
4.6 ± 1.1
04/13/2014
0.14 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.10)
3751 ± 6
38.9 ± 1.6
1.45 ± 0.05
0.53 ± 0.17
0.22 ± 0.03
4.46 ± 0.42
07/06/2014
0.09 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.05)
nondetect (< 0.65)
3899 ± 6
74.1 ± 3.4
1.72 ± 0.06
nondetect (< 0.18)
0.21 ± 0.03
2.71 ± 0.68
06/13/2015
0.15 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.5)
3791 ± 5
31.4 ± 3
1.47 ± 0.05
0.46 ± 0.15
0.12 ± 0.02
1.4 ± 0.6
07/21/2014
0.23 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.56)
3676 ± 6
15.9 ± 2.7
2.18 ± 0.06
0.80 ± 0.16
0.15 ± 0.02
0.75 ± 0.43
01/28/2015
0.29 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.3)
3769 ± 5
8.6 ± 1
2.02 ± 0.05
1.49 ± 0.17
0.04 ± 0.01
2.1 ± 0.5
07/22/2014
0.22 ± 0.06
nondetect (< 0.05)
nondetect (< 1.13)
4613 ± 7
163.0 ± 4.8
2.60 ± 0.07
1.08 ± 0.23
0.20 ± 0.03
nondetect (< 0.60)
05/04/2015
0.23 ± 0.03
nondetect (< 0.02)
nondetect (< 0.6)
3570 ± 3
18.5 ± 2.3
1.89 ± 0.03
0.82 ± 0.11
0.06 ± 0.01
0.9 ± 0.4
07/22/2014
0.29 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 54)
3737 ± 5
81.9 ± 13.8
1.73 ± 0.05
0.54 ± 0.14
0.16 ± 0.02
1.28 ± 0.71
01/07/2015
0.28 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 3.3)
3730 ± 5
37.2 ± 4.7
2.63 ± 0.06
0.98 ± 0.15
0.29 ± 0.03
5.3 ± 0.8
04/21/2016
0.39 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.90)
3404 ± 5
38.2 ± 3.9
1.07 ± 0.05
1.09 ± 0.17
0.18 ± 0.02
5.6 ± 0.7
05/18/2015
0.23 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 4.4)
3156 ± 4
80.3 ± 6.4
1.69 ± 0.06
0.83 ± 0.18
0.04 ± 0.01
0.7 ± 0.4
05/31/2015
0.21 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.05)
nondetect (< 2.5)
2837 ± 6
68.9 ± 5.7
2.05 ± 0.07
nondetect (< 0.21)
0.15 ± 0.03
nondetect (< 0.7)
05/21/2015
0.14 ± 0.04
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 3.9)
3973 ± 4
96.5 ± 6.4
1.07 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.14)
0.16 ± 0.02
nondetect (< 0.6)
11/03/2014
0.32 ± 0.05
nondetect (< 0.04)
nondetect (< 0.97)
3941 ± 5
73.6 ± 2.8
1.76 ± 0.05
0.44 ± 0.11
0.15 ± 0.02
4.7 ± 0.5
07/18/2014
0.10 ± 0.06
nondetect (< 0.05)
nondetect (< 12.7)
4607 ± 7
144.8 ± 9.7
1.27 ± 0.06
1.12 ± 0.34
0.18 ± 0.03
nondetect (< 0.91)
05/03/2016
0.41 ± 0.06
nondetect (< 0.05)
nondetect (< 0.50)
3771 ± 6
41.5 ± 3.5
1.62 ± 0.07
0.5 ± 0.23
0.05 ± 0.01
nondetect ( < 0.6)


Table Notes:

  • All uncertainties quoted are "one-sigma," meaning that they represent a 68% confidence range for the quantity measured. Detection limits are also "one-sigma" in that they give the 68% confidence upper limit.
  • Radioactive isotopes are measured in units of Becquerels per kilogram dry weight (Bq/kg dwt). One Becquerel is one nuclear decay per second.
  • Data are decay-corrected to the date the sample was collected.


Update Log:

  • 10/17/2014 16:00 - initial data posted
  • 11/07/2014 14:30 - updated table format, added results from some of the in progress samples
  • 11/13/2014 9:15 - All current sample measurements have been posted
  • 01/14/2015 20:25 - Sample "ODFW-3b0" added
  • 04/06/2015 10:00 - Samples from the third sampling period added
  • 12/08/2015 16:30 - Samples from the fourth sampling period added
  • 7/15/2016 19:00 - Samples from the fifth sampling period added