Radioactive cesium level in fish off Fukushima not declining

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  • 7


    I am not shocked or surprised at this report. It is going to be a long haul before it is clear and pray we do not have a mag 6 + around the plant in the meantime.

  • 3


    So if the greenlings were 250 times over the limit, they should be safe in 8 half-lifes time (2^8=256) ie 240 years from now. Really comforting, not.

  • 6


    Yes, and there are two problems. Mislabelling of the origin of the fish, which is hard to stop, and the annoying fact that fish swim. It's hard to know if you have a genuine, Fukushima fish.

  • 9


    a signal that the seafloor or leakage from the damaged reactors must be continuing to contaminate the waters—possibly threatening fisheries for decades, a researcher says

    This is no real surprise. Nor is the fact that this information is being made public by a researcher in Massachusetts, gleaned from the Fishing Ministry's own data. Expecting to get the straight story -- 18 months after the disaster -- from either TEPCO or the J-government is just wishful thinking. My sympathy to those of you still having to be concerned about this on a daily basis.

  • 4


    "Fukushima haven’t declined in the year following Japan’s nuclear disaster, a signal that the seafloor or leakage from the damaged reactors must be continuing to contaminate the waters—possibly threatening fisheries for decades, a researcher says."

    Quick! Where's Edano to tell us it's all okay?

    Anyway, agree with those above. Anyone who's actually surprised by this is in complete and utter denial of reality. And once again I find myself asking the rather pointless question as to why the people from TEPCO are not yet in prison? I know, I know, it's Japan -- where if you are an executive you're EXPECTED to be and REWARDED for incompetence so long as there's a scapegoat, but it's still pretty baffling.

    Regardless I bet a lot of these fish reach the supermarkets labelled 'Pacific Ocean' only.

  • 4


    no more three eye fish for me...this is horrible, they should stop all fish from fukushima from being sold, not just "most fish".

  • 8


    How mortifying it must be for Japanese scientists that it takes a foreign researcher to cast a light on the dangers of ongoing contamination in the marine environment.And of course the high levels of radiation don't magically stop at the prefectural borders of Fukushima but fan out all over the rest of Japan,Asia and eventually the world. 40% of fish with high contamination yet the sushi bars in Japan are still doing business like nothing has happened? And Japan still exports fish to those countries that haven't banned marine exports yet. Most of thedangers are being covered up and and many of are unknowingly consuming contaminated food that will hasten our deaths-chilling........

    Dr Yamashita's the Fukushima Medical University Professor's advice is to smile to counter the effects of radiation -I suppose that I will now have to practise eating fish and smiling at the same time now

  • 3


    Actually a lot of fish that is cheaper than similar products right next to to it here in Meguro supermarkets is clearly labeled as originating from Tohoku. If I was older I'd probably eat it once in a while. As we have children we take a pass.

  • 4


    Rainfall, and continuing action to wash radiation off and otherwise "decontaminate" means that radionuclides will contrinue to enter waterways and ultimately be deposited in the sea off the Tohoku coast and further afield.

  • 0


    What did you think, you are smarter than science and it would just go away after a few months?

  • 0

    komuso killa

    i thought it's gonna take more like 50 years

  • 2


    We have only been buying fish from the Sea of Japan, Kyushu, or imported fish. I expect they catch the fish near Fukushima and land it somewhere else, so we don't trust any fish from the Pacific side of Honshu, or Hokkaido.

  • 1


    It is rather pathetic that J-scientists & govt are too daft to able able to analyse the data they collect!

    I thank Ken B & his crew for doing the next step & analyzing what the data might mean. And he correctly notes that measurements of sediments are NEEDED, but anyone wanna bet Japan wont do so or if they do they wont release the data.

    Its been obvious since the early days that there is constant leak of nuclear runoff into the oceans, thats what groundwater does, the stuff moves around due to gavity, pressure differences etc & a lot of that lead straight to the ocean & will continue unabated

  • 1


    I am guessing that there is a process of transfer liquefaction occurring every time there is another earthquake. There have been thousands of aftershocks since 3/11 and when you jiggle the plant, groundwater is going to come in and pooled radioactive water is going to flow out.

    Sure, you can send in robots to look for cracks, but most of the leakage will surely happen under vibrate/dance mode when everything opens up.

  • -4


    " japanese government data shows that 40% of bottom-dwelling fish such as cod, flounder and halibut are above the limit, "

    Yeah, BOTTOM-DWELLING fish. That is of course common sense. Seing that lots of material has been deposited on the sea floor, you would expect nothing else. Free roaming fish are of course a completely different matter.

    But in the headline, the "bottom dwelling" is left out, and it suddenly becomes just "fish". Why? To make it sound more sensational? Bad journalism.

  • 4


    Fish are labelled not according to where they are caught but where they are landed. The same fish could move into Miyagi waters or elsewhere and won't be tested if they aren't landed in Fukushima. Fukushima fishermen can land the fish in Tokyo.

  • 1


    There is a possibility that some of those radioactive school of fish might migrate to a warmer part of the world during winter.

  • 0


    The radioactivity in fish has not declined in one year? Well, that's because radioactivity sticks around an awful long time. Duh.

    Come back in 600 years and maybe we'll see marked improvement. Oh that's right... we'll all be dead by then!

  • 1


    The radioactivity in fish has not declined in one year? Well, that's because radioactivity sticks around an awful long time. Duh.

    What the scientists are expecting is that the levels should have been lower due to dissapation of the radiation materials in a large ocean. The fish still are having a very high concentration, means that the fish still have a regular intake of radioactive materials despite excretion.


  • 0


    Some other things to keep eye out on might include: Current biodivisity conditions of habitat? Any other predatory pressures besides humans on these bottom dwelling fish?? Are there any current known biological effects on predatory species such as developmental growth, population growth etc....

  • 3


    There is contamination al over Tohoku, Kanto. It's not just the fish. ALSO: If Tokyo Bay muds are showing higher levels of Cesium... think about what natural process carries it there and where Tokyo then gets its potable water. The fish in Tokyo BAy need testing too.

  • 1


    The fish are contaminated in Alaska too. Salmon season has been cancelled due to low numbers and large sores found on mammals in the area.

    Fukushima Radiation Concerns in Alaska: No clams found in area — Salmon season canceled, population too low — Large mammals with huge sores

  • 0


    On the news they are reporting that an Ishi-no-Maki fishing boat has been found floating off Okinawa. A year and seven months since the tsunami, so what does that tell you about water currents, and fish that swim within them?

    To me it goes against all my instincts which want to tell me that that the Kuroshio stream flows from SW to NE and all radioactivity has gone north into the Pacific.

  • 1

    Open Minded

    Only cesium is analyzed. Any other harmful nucleotides leaking from the NPP that should be investigated too? Expert's comments would be appreciated.

  • 2


    "The two greenlings, which are bottom-feeders, had cesium levels of more than 25,000 becquerels per kilogram, 250 times the level the government considers safe."

    None of you were surprised, but I'll admit to being surprised. That's a scary figure.

  • -4


    people will always be affected by radiation because it occurs naturally in our universe. humans are a part of the chain of life and as such anything we do is also a part of the evolution of this planet. somehow man-made has become a dirty idea but everything we do is a part of the natural world. you can't learn much about anything until you take it apart. every mistake and disaster is a huge step forward. that is how evolution occurs. the purity of nature is a load of bogus mush back there with religion.

  • 4

    Mike Critchley

    I haven't had sushi or any non-canned fish since the disaster (bought it all right after the disaster). I just don't trust the Japanese government when it comes to public health in this issue. 500B/Kg was too high, but they said it was OK. Then they lowered it to 100. WHich is still to high...but now that has been deemed OK. The government has no intention of enforcing meaningful standards, so we need to watch out for ourselves.

    As a case in point, a guy I work out with in Chiba is in the milk distribution business. About 6 months after Fukushima I asked him if his family was checking the milk for radiation (much of which they source from Ibaraki, which was a radiation hot spot). "No," he replied -- "the government doesn't make us...and if we did it and found the numbers were too high, my family would lose their business."

    So we can't trust the food chain suppliers to do the right thing. And the government isn't forcing them to do the right thing. So until they do, I'll keep buying imported food, avoid fish, dairy and meat sourced from Japan (all of which concentrates ionizing radiation) as much as possible. This is going to take longer than our lifetimes to clean up, so we better get used to this.

    And for those who are looking for a "safe" amount...ingesting ANY amount of deadly ionizing radiation cannot be considered safe. Yes, we get some no matter what. It's in our environment. But when it comes to the Cesium, Strontium etc from Fukushima, it's unnecessarily dangerous to ingest it when zero-Cesium foods are available. All the government has to do is say, "all food must be checked before sale." Can't see that happening any time soon.

  • 1


    Japan needs to shift to new alternative enegy aggressively.

  • 2

    Open Minded

    Mike: I just do the same for my kids.

  • 1


    The cesium level in fish off Fukushima will never decline for a very long time because the pipes in the reactors are still leaking into the ocean without not many people knowing anything about it because the government of Japan along with TEPCO is hiding the truth about what is really going on in Fukushima.

  • -2


    Mike Critchley, you are panicking irrationally about radiation. Do you know that the average human body has 4 400 becquerels of radiation that occurs naturally, most of it because of potassium that is in ALL plants we eat? Do you know what a becquerel even is? I would guess not.

    A becquerel means that every second, one atom decays and emits one unit of radiation. And how many atoms do you think are present in one kilogram of fish? Well, to attempt a comparison, in 18 grams of water, there are 6,022 x 10^23 molecules of water (2 atoms of hydrogen and 1 atom of oxygen, H2O). That number is called the "mole". It means: 60 220 000 000 000 000 000 000 of molecules in 18 grams/mL of water, multiply that by 3 for atoms.

    In 1 kilogram of flesh, as most of organic matter is made up of carbon (and oxygen and hydrogen) we'll assume the average atom is like the carbon, for which one mole is roughly 12 grams. So in 1 kilogram of fish flesh, you can expect around 83 moles of atoms, or

    5 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 of atoms.

    If the fish has 100 becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram, that means that every second 100 of these atoms decays and emit radiations... or around

    0,000 000 000 000 000 002 % of them.

    This is what we call "insignificant". In fact, a normal banana alone has more than 100 becquerels per kilogram of radiation in it. That's natural, without any manmade radiation. Yet populations who eat a lot of bananas don't die off early from radiation sickness as you insinuate would happen (100 becquerels per kilogram is "too high" according to you).

    In short, you don't know a SINGLE thing about radiation. You're just irrationally scared and are trying to spread your fears around.

    These thresholds the government has put are very VERY conservative. People could likely eat and drink stuff with radiation concentrations many times over these thresholds all their lives with no effect at all on their health or life expectancy.

    The idea that "no radiation is ever safe" is the one that support your views, but it's a distortion of a mere hypothesis that has never been proven. Scientists know that high radiation can cause cancers and other effects on health, but at low levels of radiations, they are unable to measure the effects in experiments (on rats and the like). They furthermore assume that zero radiation has no effect on health (no positive effect nor negative effect). So to be safe, they just assume that the effect is linear with no threshold, that radiation one tenth of a large dose has one tenth the risks of the larger dose. This is extremely conservative. There is no proof that this is true, in fact some studies tend to indicate the possibility of radiation hormesis, that low doses of radiation a bit higher than normal are actually beneficial for people's health.

    The reality is that even by going with the Linear No Threshold model, some radiation is "safe" as in the risks are negligible.

  • 0

    Open Minded

    kchoze: would you please back up your conclusion that this is negligible or even beneficial for the health!

  • 1

    Open Minded

    Kchoze: Potassium does not fix on thyroid so far as I am aware. But Cesium does!

    What about plutonium and strontium? Cool staff to play with as well?

  • 0


    "We have only been buying fish from the Sea of Japan, Kyushu, or imported fish. I expect they catch the fish near Fukushima and land it somewhere else, so we don't trust any fish from the Pacific side of Honshu, or Hokkaido"

    This only means that the fish are labelled as being from the Sea of Japan. Order some directly from a port on the Sea of Japan (into which the Russians dump old naval ship reactors, by the way) or have somebody you know from there send you some.

    " the average human body has 4 400 becquerels of radiation that occurs naturally"

    The reason vegetables and fruits contain radioactive substances is that humans have filled the environment with radioactive substances, mainly via nuclear weapon tests and nuclear power generation, and those substances find their way into plants. So who is it, exactly who knows not "a SINGLE thing" about radiation? By the way "irrationally scared" is redundant. Fear is an emotion and emotions are by definition irrational.

  • -1


    warnerbro, you are absolutely wrong. Radioactive isotopes occur normally in nature. Everywhere around you, there are radioactive isotopes that are not the result of human activities. Read a book, or maybe just wikpedia. You really don't know a single thing about radiation.

    The main radioactive isotope in human beings' bodies is potassium 40, which is not the result of any nuclear power generation or arms testing.

    Furthermore, no, being scared does not imply a lack of rationality. If something is truly dangerous and that you know it is, it is rational to be scared of it.

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