Fukushima Radiation Concerns in Alaska

Alaska seafood is safe. ADEC has been coordinating with other state programs, federal agencies, and other Pacific states to monitor the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the lead agency on food safety. Additional information regarding response and testing can be found on their website here.

Fish and shellfish from Alaskan waters and beaches are not affected by the nuclear reactor damage in Japan and are safe to eat. However, they are still subject to local toxins such as paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is monitoring our food? The US Food and Drug Administration is the lead agency on food safety. Read more about at FDA's website.

Where can I find more information about the potential health impacts of radiation in Alaska? You can find that information at Alaska's Division of Public Health.

How do I report or learn more about marine debris from the tsunami in Japan? Please visit NOAA's website on Japan Tsunami Debris.

How is the radiation from Japan affecting the waters in Alaska? The great quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean rapidly and effectively dilutes radioactive material. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has provided a detailed analysis of the water situation at Fukushima which can be found here. Current testing of waters approximately 18 miles off the coast of Japan has shown that the radiation levels have dissipated rapidly, even reaching drinking water standards.

Where can I find more information about other possible contaminants that may be found in fish? For more information visit the Alaska State Veterinary's page on Fish Tissue Monitoring.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA is in charge of food safety and has been continuously monitoring radionuclides in food. FDA has posted “FDA Response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Facility”, updated through September, 2013. This page includes a link to the FDA’s Total Diet Study and information regarding import testing for radionuclide contamination.


For inquiries about radiation and safety of fish to eat please contact:
Theresa Eisenman
FDA Office of Media Affairs
Office: 301-796-2805
theresa.eisenman@fda.hhs.gov

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA’s RADNet data (air, precipitation, drinking water, and milk) is available online at: http://www.epa.gov/radnet/radnet-data/online-data.html  

For inquires about radiation and safety of ocean water please contact:
Julia Valentine
EPA Public Affairs
Office: (202) 564-0496
valentine.julia@epa.gov

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA is also leading efforts to monitor for Japanese tsunami debris and working with federal, state, and local partners to reduce the possible impacts. Although it is highly unlikely that any tsunami marine debris is radioactive, tsunami marine debris is being screened. Information about tsunami marine debris can be found at the NOAA Tsunami Marine debris website at: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunami debris/.

The primary point of contact for radiation concerns is:
Scott Smullen
NOAA Deputy Director Communications & External Affairs
Office: 202) 482-6090
scott.smullen@noaa.gov

For tsunami debris concerns, the NOAA contact is:
Peter Murphy
NOAA Marine Debris Division
Office: (206) 526-4661
peter.murphy@noaa.gov

Other Pacific State Information

Currently the State of Washington and California are monitoring for radiation. You can find more information about their programs and results here:

Health Canada

Health Canada details information about quarterly radiation dose information that shows that there are no levels of concern, even at stations in British Columbia.

For more information visit their Environmental Radiation web page.