Radiation from the Japanese Fukushima nuclear power plant may have been detected at a West Coast beach just before Christmas.
A YouTube video shows a Geiger counter detecting radiation at Coastside Beach near Half Moon Bay, Calif., just south of San Francisco on Dec. 23.
“The readings are solid,” the unidentified man in the video said. The Geiger counter in the video detected a radiation level of 150 points per minute, or five times the level normally found in the environment, The Half Moon Bay Review newspaper reported. The video gave no indication as to source of the radiation and Fukushima was never mentioned in it.
“The width of the sand and the length of this particular beach looks like it is contaminated at least three times over,” the man in the video said. The video showed that the radiation level fell as the man walked away from the beach.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has placed an order for 14 million doses of potassium iodide on the General Services Administration website, InfoWars Noted. Potassium iodide blocks the absorption of radioactive iodine by the body and can be used to prevent radiation poisoning.
It is not known what the federal government plans to do with the potassium iodide or whether the order is related to Fukushima. The debarment is requesting that the iodide be in the form of tablets, and that the tablets be placed in packets of 20. That would make around 770,000 packets that could be easily distributed.
Federal, state and county officials are investigating the report of radiation, The Half Moon Bay Review reported. The officials have done their own testing but they apparently didn’t find dangerous levels of radiation.
“It’s not something that we feel is an immediate public health concern,” San Mateo County Environmental Health Director Dean Peterson told The Review. “We’re not even close to the point of saying that any of this is from Fukushima.”
Peterson acknowledged that he didn’t know why radiation levels at the beach were higher, but he insisted that radiation levels at the beach are not unsafe for humans.
The YouTube video on the radiation has received 400,000 views. InfoWars reported that a number of people with Geiger counters have detected radiation at beaches in the Half Moon Bay area.
Scientists Expect Radiation On West Coast This Year
Scientists expect radioactive particles from Fukushima to reach the West Coast of the United States sometime in 2014, NBC News reported. The particles come from a plume of radioactive cesium 137 released following the earthquake that hit the Fukushima nuclear reactor in 2011.
These predictions are based on computer simulations done by researchers at the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in Spain and the University of New South Wales in Australia. The scientists are tracking radioactive water released from the plant, contaminated water and radiation that fell out of the atmosphere after the disaster.
The radiation released will eventually spread to the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, Vincent Rossi, one of the researchers involved in the effort, said. He didn’t say how long that would take.