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The impact of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident in the ocean

Professor Pere Masqué

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 caused a loss of power and overheating at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants. One of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, it led to a massive release of radioactive materials into the ocean.

The magnitude of the accident raised the alarm on the potential impact in marine ecosystems, in addition to the obvious concern on the implications for human health.

Five years on from the accident what has happened to that material and how has it affected the world’s oceans?

Background

Professor Pere Masqué joined Edith Cowan University from the Department of Physics and the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He was appointed in 2015 as the first ECU Professorial Research Fellow.

His research focuses on the use of both natural and artificial radioactive isotopes as tracers of environmental processes, mostly in the oceans. Current working areas include the Gulf of California and the eastern tropical North Pacific, Fukushima, the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic, the Antarctic and the Arctic Oceans and, more recently, coastal ecosystems in Australia.

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