Radioactive iodine from nuclear reprocessing plants in the UK and France has been detected deep in the waters near Bermuda. Scientists say the contaminants take a circuitous route travelling via the Arctic Ocean and down past Greenland. Researchers believe the radioactivity levels are extremely low and present no danger. However, scientists can use the iodine to accurately map the currents that transport greenhouse gases. One scientific consequence that arose from the testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere in the 1950s was that their radioactive fallout provided a powerful global tracer of water circulation and deep-ocean ventilation. Other sources of radioactive material for scientists to track water movements have been the nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield in the UK and at La Hague i n France. Contaminants have been legally released from these sites for more than 50 years. One in particular, Iodine-129 (129I), has been very useful for scientists tracing the ocean currents that help pull down greenhouse gases into the waters.
BBC 17th Aug 2017 read more »