DNOWS Header

Image Map

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How Does Fukushima Affect The Tsugaru Channel?

Team Kizuna, a Japanese relay team with 11 members swam across the Tsugaru Channel from Honshu to Hokkaido in 6 hours 40 minutes this past week. Team Kizuna used 3 escort boats to get its 11 swimmers in and out as each swimmer swam for their short stints before exchanging to the next swimmer.

Each swimmer swam for 2-minutes shifts, long enough to sprint and then get a rest for 20 minutes or so before their next leg.

With interest in the Oceans Seven rising along with the continuous fears that the nuclear crisis in Fukushima is continuing to irradiate the water and air in Japan and across the Pacific Rim. The aftermath of the nuclear plant disaster, caused by one of the most massive earthquakes and tsunamis to hit the area, is explained below. In the video below, Fukushima is located well south of the Tsugaru Channel. But with the dissemination of nuclear waste across the Pacific Rim, there appears a possibility of swimmers getting harmed by radioactivity due to swimming in the Tsugaru Channel, but it also appears to be significantly less than other locations both inside and outside of Japan.

From one perspective, it appears that is risk of getting harmed by radioactivity in the Tsugaru Channel is similar to other areas in the Pacific Ocean for a variety of reasons.

1. Proximity. The Tsugaru Channel is over 450 kilometers away from Fukushima. While the Tsugaru Channel is between the main island of Honshu and Hokkaido, Fukushima is much nearer to Tokyo in central Japan.

2. Water Flows. The prevailing currents flow between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean, far away from the ocean currents that flow from Fukushima Prefecture and points east of the Japanese archipelago. There is no realistic way for radiation to be carried by water to the Tsugaru Channel.

On the east coast of Japan, water flows from the north in Hokkaido southwards towards Fukushima along the Oyashio Current. From there the northeast-flowing Kuroshio Current runs across to Hawaii. Where the currents collide, there is a very rich fishing area. Unfortunately, this is right off the Fukushima coast where the fish contamination is taking place.

3. Radiation Survey. The Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole did a ship-based survey in the Fukushima area. The MEXT data was last compiled on August 2nd.

MEXT is monitoring radiation at around 40 points in the ocean off Fukushima, the most northerly sampling points being A1, A2 and A3. These are nowhere near the Tsugaru Channel. The locations of the measuring points are here with the latest data here.

Currents around Japan are posted here.

4. Dilution. The water-based radiation heading towards northern Hawaii is constantly diluting and decaying. The amount of radiation added to the Pacific Ocean is about the same as was added by the first Pacific bomb tests. The radiation load from the Pacific tests is still decaying, but are longer-lived isotopes, and the radiation load due to Fukushima will drop below the then-current Pacific test levels in about a year.

While some individuals may find different information and come to different conclusions, it appears that in 2013 there will be more radiation from atomic bomb tests 40 years ago, than from the recent Fukushima nuclear crisis, in the Pacific Ocean.

Information gathered with the assistance of Paul Hardy in Tokyo, Japan.

For a visual look at the situation, click on this analyses:

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program