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Research Log #5

Date: October 30, 2017

Name: Cal Kodama
EQ: How is ocean pollution affecting the health of this invaluable resource?

Three Points to Prove:

#1: Plastic affects the ocean.
#2: Oil pollution harms the ocean.
#3: Industrial pollution devistates ocean health.
Point that this Source/Information Proves: #2: Oil pollution harms the ocean.

Excerpts (These should provide insight into the designated Point to Prove):

“Because of the plant’s location along the coast, much of the water washed into the Pacific, resulting in
the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history. Additional airborne radioactive
material from the explosions and fires at the plant fell onto the sea surface, where it too mixed into the
water, as did subsequent leaks from tanks on the site holding treated water.”

“Within months of the accident, Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution (WHOI), assembled a research cruise and science party of 17 people from eight institutions to
sample the waters surrounding the nuclear plant. The scientists found elevated levels of the nuclear by-
product cesium but they were below the threshold of concern for direct human exposure. The levels of
cesium had diminished quickly off shore because cesium is soluble in seawater and was therefore diluted
by the Pacific ocean currents.”

“Crude oil and many refined petroleum products are a complex mixture of hundreds of chemicals, each
one with a distinct set of behaviors and potential effects when released into the marine environment.
Some of these substances differ only in the location or orientation of a single carbon atom on a long
molecular chain involving dozens of atoms.”

Analysis (How does this source support the Point to Prove?):

In 2011, Japan endured one of the most powerful tsunamis in history. The cause of this tsunami was a 9.0
magnitude earthquake 80 miles off the northeastern shore. The tsunami triggered a reaction with a nuclear
power plant and it caused a radiation leak. This leak was devastating and is still being studied by
scientists today. The cause of radiation leak was due to a malfunction with the cooling process. The issue
forced emergency crews to use the ocean water to cool the damaged reactors. The workers then released
the water back into the ocean making this the largest accidental release of radiation.

Months later scientists sampled the water that was surrounding the powerplant. After testing these water
samples, the scientists noticed a higher level of radiation in the water, but it was lower than the harmful
level for humans. Although these levels are not particularly harmful for humans, many fisheries remain
closed due to the elevated levels of radiation in both the water and the organisms that inhabit it.

Work Cited (correct MLA format):

“Fukushima Radiation.” Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution MBLWHOI Library,


I am assuming that these are reputable and reliable articles because this non profit organization is
partnered with some of the most leading institutions in the world like NOAA and NASA. Also
partnered with other scientific organizations all over the world.