This morning I read that Alaska fisheries could indeed be at risk:
"In a worst-case scenario, said Paul Falkowski, a professor of marine sciences and geology at Rutgers University, a major ocean current that travels up the coast of Japan, across the Pacific and into the Gulf of Alaska could carry radiation to Alaska fisheries months from now. He said the International Atomic Energy Agency should monitor such movements, although he and other experts considered it highly unlikely that the current would take the radiation to Alaska unless the leak became far worse."At risk, that is, if "the leak became far worse." It looks like the leak became far worse:
- Radiation, Once Free, Can Follow Tricky Path, New York Times, 21 March 2011
"Levels of radioactive iodine in seawater just offshore of the embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant spiked to more than 1,250 times higher than normal, Japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency said Saturday.Radioactive Particles Ascend The Food Chain
(Update Sunday: "Japan's nuclear agency said that levels of radioactive iodine in the sea near the plant had risen to 1,850 times the usual level.")
Samples taken Friday morning from a monitoring station 330 meters off the coast were significantly higher than results from the previous morning, when the level was 104 times above normal."
- Radiation In Seawater Off Nuclear Plant Spikes To 1,250 Times Normal, CNN, 26 March 2011
While salmon and other Alaska catch are miles from the nuclear fallout, the fish they consume, and the seafood and sea plants those fish in turn consume, may not be. Also from that NYTs article:
"[Radioactive] Cesium is dangerous because it is long-lived and travels easily through the food chain, continuing to emit particles for centuries once it is released.
More than 15 years after the Chernobyl accident in what is now Ukraine, studies found that cesium 137 was still detectable in wild boar in Croatia and reindeer in Norway, with the levels high enough in some areas to pose a potential danger to people who consume a great deal of the meat."