California Wine Has Radioactive Material from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, New Study Finds. But don't worry, it's totally fine for you to drink it. The Fukushima nuclear meltdown was an unprecedented disaster that caused thousands of deaths and widespread destruction in Japan. It also had a surprising effect on California. Specifically, Napa Valley vineyards.
French scientists just released a study that found trace amounts of radioactive material in California wines from 2011 that are a direct result of Fukushima—in case you had a taste for some slight radiation along with those tannins.
The scientists vaporized bottles of California cabernet and rosé from 2009 to 2012 and studied the ashes for levels of cesium-137, a man-made radioactive particle that you can't pick up from nature. Wine bottled after the 2011 nuclear incident had more cesium-137 than wines from before, The New York Times reports.
Some had almost double the amount, swept across the Pacific Ocean in a radioactive cloud. A similar thing happened with European wine after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, as well as wine during the height of Cold War nuclear testing.
Don't worry: The radiation levels in the Napa wine are too low to be considered a health risk. The World Health Organization says that people are regularly exposed to more radioactive material than that which was found in food and drink outside Japan after Fukushima.
(Ingesting too much cesium-137 can lead to cancer, though.)
And California officials say there's no risk to California residents. So keep sipping that 2011 Napa cab—good things still come in bottles.https://www.esquire.com/food-drink/drinks/a22546164/california-wine-radioactive-material-fukushima/