WHOI Scientist to Study Fukushima’s Effects on the Pacific Ocean


Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution marine chemist Ken Buesseler began sampling and analyzing seawater surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant three months after the 2011 disaster. Today, he launched a crowd sourcing campaign and citizen science website to collect and analyze seawater along the West Coast of North America as the radioactive plume travels 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean.

Through the website “How Radioactive is Our Ocean?” the public can support the monitoring of radiation in the ocean with tax-deductible donations to fund the analysis of existing samples or by proposing new locations and funding the samples and analysis of those sites.

“We already have dozens of seawater samples from the coast of Japan out to the middle of the Pacific, but now we need new samples—from up and down the West Coast of North America and across the Pacific. The trouble is, these samples are expensive to collect and analyze,” said Buesseler.

Read more about the campaign and website.