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Japan beach sampling

Beneath the Surface

Members of the lab run by WHOI chemist Matt Charette installed equipment near the city of Sendai during a trip to Northeast Japan to collect groundwater samples. Charette and WHOI colleague Ken Buesseler recently found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated—in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches as much as 60 miles away. The sands took up and retained radioactive cesium originating from the disaster in 2011 and have been slowly releasing it back to the ocean. (Photo by Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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