Status of ocean plume off Japan

Construction is underway on a fence to partially isolate discharging contaminated water being released into the oceanThe U.S. Navy requested detailed data from Japan regarding the size, composition, timing and sampling of the controlled radiation release into the ocean amid concerns that the contamination could infiltrate the desalinization pumps on their vessels.  Countries including South Korea and China questioned the tactic of dumping radiation into the ocean and registered concern that they were not advised in advance of the measure.

Colleagues at the University of Toulouse continued their commendable work modeling the plume in the ocean off Japan’s east coast.  Their updated validation work revealed on April 10 shows encouraging correspondence with measurements: “This time, we have added the tracer released by the powerplant into the sea to the tracer deposited from the atmosphere. We have superposed to this field the observations measured the same day (circles with the same color code). Values are underestimated offshore but the position of the observed maximum is in good agreement with the northeast extension found by the model. (Scale in decimal logarithm of the concentration in Bq/l)” (The figure below for April 6 model results is from their website.)


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