Oregon Prepares for Possible Radioactive Tsunami Debris
EMSL Analytical offers testing services to analyze radioactive samples following the nuclear disaster in Japan.
Cinnaminson, NJ, February 3rd, 2012 -- This month, the Yamhill Valley News-Register published a story about how various Oregon agencies and groups are preparing for potentially radioactive debris to reach the coast. Recently, they held a conference call to review Oregon’s planned response as the one year anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami approaches in early March.
Although most experts do not expect the debris to carry much radioactive material, area residents are still concerned. The bulk of the debris is expected to begin arriving later in the year or into the beginning of next year.
Materials that may be contaminated with cesium are one significant concern. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “The most common radioactive form of cesium is cesium-137. Another fairly common radioisotope is cesium-134. Cesium-137 is much more significant as an environmental contaminant than cesium-134.”
Nuclear reactor waste and accidental releases such as at the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear plant accidents did release some cesium into the environment. The half-life of cesium-137 is 30.17 years. Because of the chemical nature of cesium, it moves easily through the environment which makes the cleanup of cesium-137 difficult.
Responding to concerns about radioactive debris reaching the shores of Oregon and surrounding states, EMSL Analytical has expanded their radiological sampling capacity. The environmental laboratory has already witnessed an increase in the number of requests to perform Gamma Spectroscopy analyses.
“The ability to measure Gamma isotopes that may have been released from the Japanese nuclear power plant allows EMSL to measure for things such as Cesium-134, Cesium-137, Iodine-131 and other radioactive elements,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “Samples have already been processed to test food products, soils, vegetation and water matrices with some samples being able to be processed in as short as one day.”
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.