ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — State officials have announced that tests of Alaska seafood continue to show no detectable amounts of radiation, five years after a deadly earthquake and tsunami set off a nuclear disaster at a Japanese power plant.
More than 16,000 people were killed in 2011 after Japan’s 9.1-magnitude earthquake, which led to nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Since then, U.S. and international agencies have been conducting tests to determine the health of marine life along the U.S. and Canada, KTVA-TV reported. Testing regions in Alaska include the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea, Bristol Bay, the Gulf of Alaska and the southeast region.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said on Jan. 9 that testing last year confirmed Alaska seafood hasn’t been affected by radiation from the nuclear plant.
“Testing performed in previous years showed no detectable levels of Fukushima-related radionuclides,” according to a statement from the department. “Testing in 2016 also confirmed the quality and health of Alaska seafood has not been impacted by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.”
While Alaska appears to be in the clear for now, the department has detected radiation in Canada and said radionuclides have been found in “ultra-low” levels in samples from Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach in Oregon.
“These findings do not indicate a threat to Alaska waters or the safety of consuming marine fish. DEC, in cooperation with its partners, currently deems fish and shellfish from Alaska waters unaffected by the nuclear reactor damage in Japan,” the statement says.
State officials are still advising Alaska residents to be aware that “fish and shellfish are still subject to local toxins, such as those that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning.”