Fukushima disaster in 2011
ASSEMBLY | ENVIRONMENT | Fremont Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski wants the state to be more forthcoming about the potential effects of the 2011 nuclear reactor disaster in Fukushima, Japan on California’s coastline.
Wieckowski, said Tuesday the state’s Department of Public Health should post updated information on its Web site in “layman’s terms” to alleviate concerns by residents and interests in the fishing, agriculture and tourism industries.
Although the federal government has asserted the environmental disaster at Fukushima poses no threat to the Pacific Coast in terms of increased radioactivity, Wiekckowski says online speculation is fueling concerns among some Californians.
“With newspaper reports, on-line videos and a number of stories about the possible radiation dangers to our beaches, residents are concerned and seeking information from a source they can trust,” said Wieckowski. “I think a lot of people’s questions can be answered if the department would conduct a study or post the results of other studies and monitoring that are already completed to its homepage. The difficulty of finding accurate, current information about the science and the level of risk involved has exacerbated confusion and worry among some in the public.”
Furthermore, concerns over the impacts of the accident on the environment have not only been growing online but also in popular culture. On Tuesday, it was reported health officials in San Mateo County dismissed a claim by a YouTube video that went viral last month purportedly showing a beach in Half Moon Bay registering considerably higher than normal radioactivity levels. Public officials had no explanation for the spike, but dismissed the Fukushima disaster as a reason.