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Recent reports of leaks from the site of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant have not deterred researchers from continuing to study the impact and spread of radiation in the ocean. WHOI senior scientist Ken Buesseler organized a cruise off the coast of Japan in 2011 to trace the path of radionuclides such as cesium-137 in the Pacific from 18 miles away to far off shore. In May, he, WHOI chemist Matt Charette, post-doc Sachiko Yoshida, and research associate Steve Pike returned aboard the Japanese fisheries research vessel Umitaka Maru led by Japanese biologist Jun Nishikawa (pictured) to within just three miles of the reactors. Next, Buesseler plans to be on board another Japanese ship that has permission to take samples from as close as one kilometer (0.6 mile). (Photo by Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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