Scientists Testing Kelp For Radiation From Japan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Scientists Testing Kelp For Radiation From Japan

Posted: Updated:
LONG BEACH, Calif. - About a mile and a half off the Long Beach coast may lie the answer to what scientists projected back in September: that radioactive seawater contaminated by the tsunami and earthquake damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant has made it all the way to the shores of the United States. 

Cal State Long Beach graduate students are diving in to the ocean to collect kelp, known for its ability to absorb nutrients and potentially radioactive seawater from Japan.

"It's the ability to absorb nutrients that's exploited because they also absorb the dissolved radio isotopes that will be coming this way," Dr. Steven Manley told NBC.

"The levels we project we're going to see in kelp are going to be quite low and certainly not harmful to humans -- but the effect on simpler forms of wildlife we don't know. Whatever is in the kelp will get into the bodies of those animals also," Manley added.

The kelp, about 14 pounds of it, will be dried, ground, and sent out to northern California to be tested for radiation levels. The results, may give us the first proof that water from Japan has traveled more than 5000 miles to our shores.

"If we do find something, it can serve as a warning that these materials that get released thousands of miles away can find a way across the oceans," Manley said. 
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Dog passes out from overwhelming joy at owners return

    VIRAL VIDEO: Dog passes out from overwhelming joy at owners return

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:26:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - A woman who left her dog in the care of friends while she moved away for two years, got an unexpected and heart melting reaction from her little schnauzer, Casey, when she returned. This video has gone viral since it was posted July 24th with over 17 million views as of July 28th.>>
    KHQ.COM - A woman who left her dog in the care of friends while she moved away for two years, got an unexpected and heart melting reaction from her little schnauzer, Casey, when she returned. This video has gone viral since it was posted July 24th with over 17 million views as of July 28th.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • HAPPENING NOW: Brush fire burning near Qualchan Golf Course

    HAPPENING NOW: Brush fire burning near Qualchan Golf Course

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:58:46 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane firefighters are responding to a brush fire above Qualchan Golf Course below High Drive. KHQ has multiple crews on scene and we will update this story as soon as we get any additional information. >>INSIDE: Pictures and more information>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane firefighters are responding to a brush fire above Qualchan Golf Course below High Drive. KHQ has multiple crews on scene and we will update this story as soon as we get any additional information. >>INSIDE: Live streaming video, pictures, updated information
    >>
  • Lady Star has been found thanks to your help & the power of social media!

    Lady Star has been found thanks to your help & the power of social media!

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:59:04 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A good ending to a story only brought about because of you and the power of social media. You may remember the story of the beautiful German Shepherd, Lady Star who went missing after a car crash on June 24th. She was the dog of Asha Bartholomew and her husband, a former WWII vet who passed away a year ago.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A good ending to a story only brought about because of you and the power of social media. You may remember the story of the beautiful German Shepherd, Lady Star who went missing after a car crash on June 24th. She was the dog of Asha Bartholomew and her husband, a former WWII vet who passed away a year ago.
    >>
  • Scientists hoping to restore salmon in Ellensburg

    Scientists hoping to restore salmon in Ellensburg

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:56:35 GMT
    ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) - The settlers who founded Ellensburg in the 1870s were likely drawn by the plentiful water in creeks crisscrossing the valley, but as the city expanded, it grew right over those streams. Look at a Google map of downtown Ellensburg and you'll see Wilson Creek wind across Main Street.>>
    ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) - The settlers who founded Ellensburg in the 1870s were likely drawn by the plentiful water in creeks crisscrossing the valley, but as the city expanded, it grew right over those streams. Look at a Google map of downtown Ellensburg and you'll see Wilson Creek wind across Main Street.
    >>