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Water sampler

Tracking Fukushima Radioactivity

In the weeks after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 2011, WHOI geochemist Ken Buesseler organized an expedition with scientists from different fields and institutions to investigate radioisotopes from the damaged plant that ended up in the ocean and marine life. They used nets to sample organisms and instruments such as this one to collect more than 1,500 water samples in 30 locations off Japan. Water and biological samples were sent to 16 labs in seven countries to detect levels of a variety of radioisotopes. Buesseler has continued to track the spread of Fukushima radioactive contaminants in the ocean and beaches for years after the accident. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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