MALIBU ( — Scientists will begin testing local kelp beds later this month for radioactive contamination that may have drifted east from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in 2011.

“Kelp Watch 2014” will monitor local kelp from Long Beach, Palos Verdes and Malibu, to determine the disaster’s potential impact along the West Coast.

Recent testing has not found any radioactive material and scientists have deemed local waters safe.

The study, funded mainly by a USC Sea Grant, involves 30 marine scientists leading teams that will sample kelp on larger scale from Baja to Alaska.

According to estimates, radioactive isotopes from Fukushima are expected to arrive in California as early as April 2014, and could linger well after 2016.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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