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Live Chat: Bill Burnett Talks About Radiation in Japan's Seas (Transcript)

Today's Topic

With no place to store the waste seawater used to cool the reactors at Fukushima’s nuclear plant, Japanese authorities dumped some of the radioactive material back into the sea, where it joined contaminated water leaking from cracks in the plant and nuclear fallout from the air. Most scientists don't think that enough radiation will accumulate in seafood to affect human health, but will it affect plant and animal life? And how will it ultimately change the ocean environment in decades to come?

At 3 p.m. on Thursday, join Florida State University geochemist William Burnett to chat about how radiation can affect ocean chemistry and its possible effects on marine ecology. You can leave your questions in the comment box before the chat starts.

Additional reading:

Today's Guest

William C. Burnett, Ph.D., Director: Environmental Radioactivity Measurement Facility

Burnett's research focuses on the measurement and description of both natural (uranium/thorium decay series) and artificial radionuclides in the environment. He specializes in the development of new separation techniques to isolate actinide elements from environmental matrices such as seawater, marine sediments, and soils. A major area of research over the past several years has been the use of natural radon-222 as a tracer of groundwater flow into coastal and lake waters.

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