Scientists Testing Kelp For Radiation From Japan - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Scientists Testing Kelp For Radiation From Japan

Posted: Updated:
LONG BEACH, Calif. - About a mile and a half off the Long Beach coast may lie the answer to what scientists projected back in September: that radioactive seawater contaminated by the tsunami and earthquake damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant has made it all the way to the shores of the United States. 

Cal State Long Beach graduate students are diving in to the ocean to collect kelp, known for its ability to absorb nutrients and potentially radioactive seawater from Japan.

"It's the ability to absorb nutrients that's exploited because they also absorb the dissolved radio isotopes that will be coming this way," Dr. Steven Manley told NBC.

"The levels we project we're going to see in kelp are going to be quite low and certainly not harmful to humans -- but the effect on simpler forms of wildlife we don't know. Whatever is in the kelp will get into the bodies of those animals also," Manley added.

The kelp, about 14 pounds of it, will be dried, ground, and sent out to northern California to be tested for radiation levels. The results, may give us the first proof that water from Japan has traveled more than 5000 miles to our shores.

"If we do find something, it can serve as a warning that these materials that get released thousands of miles away can find a way across the oceans," Manley said. 
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Suspected gunman manages to elude police after hospital lockdown

    Suspected gunman manages to elude police after hospital lockdown

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:13 AM EDT2014-08-30 06:13:33 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- A suspected gunman managed to elude police Friday night after a chase that took officers from the Rite Aid on N. Division to Holy Family Hospital on E. Rowan. It all started around 7:30pm Friday night, when police say a man was seen trying to steal items from the Rite Aid.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- A suspected gunman managed to elude police Friday night after a chase that took officers from the Rite Aid on N. Division to Holy Family Hospital on E. Rowan. It all started around 7:30pm Friday night, when police say a man was seen trying to steal items from the Rite Aid. More >>
  • Detached garage goes up in flames

    Detached garage goes up in flames

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:13 AM EDT2014-08-30 06:13:05 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane fire investigators are looking into what caused a detached garage to catch fire Friday night. It happened around 9:30pm at a home near the intersection of East Rowan and North Magnolia. Fire crews had the fire under control about 15 minutes after they arrived on scene, and by 10:00pm the fire was completely out.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane fire investigators are looking into what caused a detached garage to catch fire Friday night. It happened around 9:30pm at a home near the intersection of East Rowan and North Magnolia. Fire crews had the fire under control about 15 minutes after they arrived on scene, and by 10:00pm the fire was completely out.
    More >>
  • Scammers pretend to be the IRS

    Scammers pretend to be the IRS

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:00:56 GMT
    It was Ben Franklin said in this world nothing is certain, except death and taxes, but it looks like you can add scammers to that saying. Every year, people pretend to be the IRS to swindle people out of their money. More >>
    It was Ben Franklin said in this world nothing is certain, except death and taxes, but it looks like you can add scammers to that saying. Every year, people pretend to be the IRS to swindle people out of their money. More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.