)New research shows that the radioactive ocean plume from the Fukushima nuclear power plant will reach the United States' west coast in 2014.
The study was performed by researchers from Australia's Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and others, who published their findings in the journal, Deep-Sea Research 1
. The researchers used a range of ocean simulations to track the path of the radiation from the Fukushima incident to identify where it would likely travel through the oceans over the next 10 years.
The researchers claim that the radiation will be considerably diluted, so it will have minimal effects and is not a cause for concern. They also said that most radioactive material will stay in the North Pacific, and Australia and countries in the Southern Hemisphere should expect to see very little radiation.
"Observers on the west coast of the United States will be able to see a measurable increase in radioactive material three years after the event," one of the paper's authors, Dr Erik van Sebille, said. "However, people on those coastlines should not be concerned as the concentration of radioactive material quickly drops below World Health Organisation safety levels as soon as it leaves Japanese waters."
The researchers also developed a website, adrift.org.au
, to help those interested in tracking the radiation.