Tainted water: Fukushima still faces contamination crisis

Picture expired. Greenpeace nuclear expert Shaun Burnie says Fukushima is facing an "enormous nuclear water crisis" AFP

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  • 11

    Disillusioned

    TEPCO have said they are taking measures to stop water flowing into the site, including building an underground wall, freezing the land itself and syphoning underground water.

    The key word in this quote is, "said". There is no proof that they have actually done any of these things because it's all kept quiet - thanks to Abe's secrecy bill. However, it is true that there is still a lot of radioactive water leeching into the environment and five years after the event they are still no closer to finding a solution. The great saviour 'ice wall' was a complete failure. I'm not saying it is an easy task, not by any means, but there definitely seems to be a somewhat laxed approach to resolving the issues in Fukushima.

  • 11

    gaijinintsukuba

    Great! Japanese people deserve the truth. If results are significant, the government should be held responsible for its continued lies and cover ups.

  • 1

    Utrack

    No amount of nuclear radiation is safe to consume. It is shameful that this fallacy of allowable amounts is continuing. Has it not been shown that low levels of radiation cause cancer??

  • 5

    sighclops

    As usual, it's a foreign reporter / media outlet reporting on concerns with Fukushima. Would never get this kind of news on Japanese TV and for that, I'm thankful.

    I'm still astounded Abe's secrecy bill passed so easily through parliament. Very sad state of affairs indeed.

  • 3

    nandakandamanda

    It always gets me when they show Fukushima products being pushed in food-tasting shows. "Try this, it's delicious!"

    Ummm... nice try, and surely it is delicious, but we are not worried about the taste, guys.

  • 9

    Sensato

    Fish market vendor Satoshi Nakano knows which fish caught in the radiation tainted sea off the Fukushima coast should be kept away from dinner tables.

    I beg to differ — Nakano nor anyone else knows with much certainty which fish should be kept away from dinner tables.

    Considering the migration patterns of fish, the marine food chain, and ocean currents, a fish caught in Hokkaido could easily pose a threat containing radiation originating in Fukushima. This could even be true of fish caught in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest.

  • -10

    Heda_Madness

    This could even be true of fish caught in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest.

    And yet there is no evidence of this. In fact, what we have had numerous scientifc articles to say that this is not true.

  • -7

    Per Christer Lund

    "It was the single largest release of radioactivity to the marine environment in history,” - not true. The Nuclear bomb tests that US, France, UK conducted in the Pacific in the 1960-80's far exceeds the fallout of Fukushima. In fact, the radiation from Fukushima is dwarfed by the background radiation from that time. I am also relieved that 83% of the Japanese population is NOT concerned about eating fish from Fukushima.

  • 2

    warispeace

    Tainted water: Fukushima still faces contamination crisis

    The use of "still" in this headline shows an assumption that by now there would no longer be a contamination crisis. Yet if you have the same company and regulatory culture that bungled the plant into three meltdowns in charge of clean up, a lot of wishin and hopin must be overriding critical thinking to assume progress.

  • -11

    shonanbb

    Utrack: It has not. Small amounts are not dangerous at all.

    Per: I totally agree

  • -2

    Donnie Palahnuk

    Unscientific commentary ... "I think these fish suck up the dirt" ... what hogwash. And no - Fukushima, and Japan, has not ignored the issue. This is why there has been a very slow restart of the nation's reactors, and the TEPCO execs are going to jail. This guy is like a knowledge-less potato head speaking from a dish of fried onions. What a waste of journalism ... seriously. One word of advice ... DATA !

  • 2

    Utrack

    Shonanbb the articles was posted on Japan Today surely you read it. Low level radiation does indeed cause cancer it has been proven.

  • 2

    ThePBot

    Don't worry guys, TEPCO will delay in telling us that there's no more leak and no more problem.......

  • 7

    yakyak

    I think it is very funny how the people claiming small amounts of radiation can never hurt you ,then go to the dentist to get medical x-rays and the doctor puts you in a sealed room while he makes you wear a lead bib for protection.Then he goes into a completely different "safe room or area" so he is not exposed to the dangers of radiation while he snaps the pics of your jaw. Think of the precautions a dentist or health care worker makes. Fukushima has proven that Japan lacks credibility on any issues regarding the effects of radiation on the environment and on the human body.

  • -5

    Leslie Corrice

    Calling Grennpeace's Burnie a nuclear expert is a complete farce. He's clearly a bigot and should be completely ignored. He's making totally unfounded predictions. Jan Vande Putte is almost as bad...but not quite. Your newspaper should be ashamed!!

  • -5

    Ronald Hassem

    so what about fish that migrate around the pacific ocean and breed on the atolls that the americans french and russians conducted neclear and atomic testing on for all those years? they taste delicious as well. all the nuclear subs that russia sunk in the north japan sea? mmm lets get worried people.

  • 4

    Citizen2012

    “It was the single largest release of radioactivity to the marine environment in history,”

    That says all. Facts are they do still release radioactive water and it is not under control. Fishing should totally be banned in that area but it is not. From those who are allowing this to happen to those who are making money out of it, they are all mad people selling poison to customers.

  • 6

    GW

    After 5yrs there is still NO TRANSPERENCY what so ever is supposed testing. Clearly some fish tested MUST have had some high levels of radiation yet we NEVER hear anything, there are no published maps showing areas where some fish have high readings, others low or anything, there is next to no info individuals can try to make heads or tails of.

    Its all as clear as MUD!!

    And with the recent news that tepco DELIBERATELY tried to cover up the meltdowns, this has become a real sick joke!

  • -10

    Heda_Madness

    Fishing should totally be banned in that area but it is not. From those who are allowing this to happen to those who are making money out of it, they are all mad people selling poison to customers.

    Is that what's happening? Or is that just random irrational ranting. Because what we do know is that all food is tested. We know that certain foodstuffs are banned and the others are tested. Noone is selling poison to the customers. This has been proben by the recent story that 16 children had thyroid cancer. Had poisonous food been sold then this number would have been significantly higher (see Chernobyl).

    Yakyak... one dental/medical xray is somewhat differnet to doing multiple xrays on a daily basis. They're not worried abut one xray. There's plenty of data available on what is a dangerous amount of radiation and what is acceptable.

  • -3

    katsu78

    DisillusionedFEB. 28, 2016 - 07:55AM JST There is no proof that they have actually done any of these things because it's all kept quiet - thanks to Abe's secrecy bill

    That's a pretty hefty accusation. Do you have any evidence to back it up with?

    UtrackFEB. 28, 2016 - 08:27AM JST No amount of nuclear radiation is safe to consume. It is shameful that this fallacy of allowable amounts is continuing. Has it not been shown that low levels of radiation cause cancer??

    If that were true, each and every one of us would have cancer right now, because all people and all things on this planet are exposed to radiation. To give you an idea of just how much background radiation there is in the world, when scientists need metals to use to make carefully calibrated scientific instruments with minimal radioactive exposure, they have to get the materials by fishing pre-nuclear shipwrecks off of the bottom of the ocean and salvaging their scrap.

    Radiation and cancer is a matter of odds. Any exposure to radiation has a chance of raising your odds of getting cancer, but just how much those odds are raised depends on the degree of exposure. For example, according to the independent dosimeter readings taken after the Fukushima crisis, most of us in the Kansai area were exposed to levels of radiation equivalent to what you get from radon exposure by living in Cornwall for a year. Most "flyjin" who evacuated Japan probably got more exposure to radiation from the cosmic rays they lost atmospheric shielding to by being on an international flight than they did by staying in Japan, but even then unless you were actually in or very near Fukushima (or I dunno... gargling with ocean water right off the coast), it's likely your risk of cancer increased by a fraction of a percent.

    That's not to say the crisis in Fukushima and the radiated water being released into the ocean isn't serious. But what kind of radioactive isotopes are being released, where they go, which sea life they enter, how they are metabolized, where they end up in the food chain, these are all major factors - arguably more important than simply the volume of radiated water itself. We need people with a mind for science to get in here and study the nitty-gritty of what's happening, not reactionaries and fear-mongers who tell us all we're all doomed simply because they saw the prefix "radio-" somewhere in the article. Such people obscure the truth every bit as much as the blindly pro-nuclear lobby that insists everything is safe because financially we would all really like it to be.

  • 2

    nandakandamanda

    Two out of three people will get cancer in this lifetime. Of those two, one will die of the cancer, and one with it.

    Do we want or need any extra exposure whatsoever? Cut down where you can and where people are kind enough to give you some figures to make a judgement.

    Talking about bottom-feeding fish/crustaceans, molluscs, by the way, you will all remember that so much radioactive Cesium was released into the ocean from Fukushima Dai-ichi that they concreted the complete sea floor of the harbor, (a special mix that hardens under water) reckoning it would take 50 years for the concrete to break up, during which time the heavy Cesium was to lose some half-life and calm down a bit.

  • -4

    shonanbb

    Utrack: You are wrong, very wrong. If low levels of radiation were bad as you claim, then there would be a lot of dead pilots and airplane workers. Colorado would be abandoned as well as Nevada and other places as teh background radiation is exceptionally high.

    Doctors and in particular dentists, must hide themselves as they could be receiving dosages by the 20-30's each day if they are in a busy clinic.

    Overall, weak radiation will not hurt anyone.

  • 2

    CrazyJoe

    If you actually believe TEPCO's line about the radioactive water released into the Pacific, I have some fine real estates on Mars to sell you. Only a fool would believe anything Tepco has to say these days.

  • -4

    Heda_Madness

    ShonanBB...stop using scientific facts. It's very unhelpful. You should ONLY make unsubstantiated claims when discussing this topic.

    There are some on here that claimed thousands would die and nothing, certainly not facts, is going to change their opinion.

  • 2

    Christopher Pelham

    Thousands of people in Nevada and Utah have in fact gotten radiation-related cancers and continue to, as has been widely reported by the NY Times, Washington Post, etc.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/06/AR2007020601606.html

  • -1

    Heda_Madness

    ShonanBB is referring to naturally occurring background radiation. Google it.

    Not the radiation caused by testing of 952 nuclear weapons over a 40 year period.

  • -1

    Utrack

    The key word is nuclear radiation. Of which low levels has been proven to cause cancer.

  • -4

    Heda_Madness

    Erm no it hasn't.

    We have an article that says people living downwind of 492 nuclear tests have got cancer.

    What it doesn't say is anything that could lead to a scientific conclusion. We don't know pretest radiation levels. We don't know post test. We don't know if food and water was tested. We dont know how it differs from the national average. We don't know anything except that people living downwind of 492 nuclear tests have got cancer.

    What we do know however is that based on studies of Nagasaki those who survived the initial blast were more likely to die in a traffic accident than from cancer. Those studies have been completed by scientists.

    Still, you're entitled to come to any conclusion you like. Personally I like all the information and don't just read a headline.

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    “It was the single largest release of radioactivity to the marine environment in history,”

    That's an attack on the culture!!

    Heda_Madness: "Still, you're entitled to come to any conclusion you like. Personally I like all the information and don't just read a headline."

    Correction: you like all the 'info' from pro-nuclear blogs and deny the facts, or else deflect from the dangers by saying other things are dangerous, so the dangers are okay.

  • -5

    Heda_Madness

    Facts like thousands...tens of thousands...hundreds of thousands... millions will die as a result of Fukushima?

    Or facts like we nearly lost Tokyo. You STILL perpetuate that inaccuracy nearly 5 years after it was proven to be wrong

    I prefer facts correlated by science. And my quotes don't come from blogs they come from reputable scientists on reputable websites.

  • -3

    shonanbb

  • -3

    Mike O'Brien

    I think it is very funny how the people claiming small amounts of radiation can never hurt you ,then go to the dentist to get medical x-rays and the doctor puts you in a sealed room while he makes you wear a lead bib for protection.

    Maybe because that ISN'T a small amount of radiation, and yet you STILL are getting radiation from the x-ray and you don't die or get cancer. Also I have never been put in a sealed room at the dentist for x-rays. I stay right in the same exam chair where they clean my teeth, and the door is open with other patients walking by.

  • 2

    otherworldly

    @Yak, as a healthcare worker you are in Fact 100% correct. Also depending on the type of x-rays you need,sometimes you are put in a sealed room and sometimes not. Either way there is always a danger to radiation exposure. @Mike O'Brien, I recommend if "the door is open with other patients walking by" while you get x-rays,You should definitely look for another dentist.

  • -3

    Stuart hayward

    Heda_MadnessFEB. 28, 2016 - 12:22PM JST

    Yakyak... one dental/medical xray is somewhat differnet to doing multiple xrays on a daily basis. They're not worried abut one xray. There's plenty of data available on what is a dangerous amount of radiation and what is acceptable.

    Well you made a good point, the continuous stream of radioactive water that is ALWAYS flowing into the ocean is a closer comparison to having multiple X-rays on a daily bases. We are not to worried about a one time leak of radiation, but that's not the case in Fukushima, is it?

    I normally wouldn't use dental X-rays as an analogy comparison, since X-rays aren't emitting high levels of Strontium and Cesium but there are similarities to the dangers of continuos exposure. I know you're not concerned about those dangers but I imagine you might feel differently if you lived within 20 kilometers of ground zero, rather than 3000 miles away.

  • 0

    onedragon

    The key word is nuclear radiation. Of which low levels has been proven to cause cancer.

    Couldn't have said it better.

  • 0

    kurisupisu

    Exactly, radiation drills holes in matter-and does so to the human body as a hot knife cutting butter!

    Not really beneficial for ones constitution is it?

  • 1

    Alex80

    so what about fish that migrate around the pacific ocean and breed on the atolls that the americans french and russians conducted neclear and atomic testing on for all those years?

    Agree. Fukushima is bad, but if people are really serious about it, they shouldn't cover up the mess caused by these tests. It's a matter of honesty and coherence.

  • 1

    Timothy Stuart

    Greenpeace should also take a look at wind/solar farms that are slaughtering millions of birds and bats, ruining natural landscapes, and releasing chemical substances into the environment.

  • 1

    ebisen

    The single largest release of radiation in the sea were the atomic bomb tests USA concluded. Fukushima is way below that.

  • 2

    WilliB

    " “It’s very important (to see) where is more contaminated and where is less or even almost not contaminated,” Greenpeace’s Jan Vande Putte told AFP, stressing the importance of such findings for the fishing industry. "

    Well yeah, it is important. So check up on it. Right now you have not, and the articlel contains no information, only speculation. Including such highly scientifiy snippets such as "I think those kinds of fish suck up the dirt of the ocean floor" --- Good grief.

    Yes, OK, I will stay away from ocean floor dirt-sucking kinds of fish...

  • 0

    Zaphod

    stuart hayward:

    I normally wouldn't use dental X-rays as an analogy comparison, since X-rays aren't emitting high levels of Strontium and Cesium

    Err... can you explain what kind of rays "emit high levels Strontium and Cesium"?? How does that work, radiation emitting Strontium and Cesium?

  • -3

    Utrack

    The Japan Today article has expired but here is a link to the same article posted on Yahoo

    First Fukushima worker diagnosed with radiation-linked cancer: Japan official

    http://news.yahoo.com/first-fukushima-worker-diagnosed-radiation-linked-cancer-065828021.html;_ylt=A0LEVjARH9NWI.MAEqwPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBybGY3bmpvBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--

    J Govt does not want people to panic but radioactive plutonium is hand in hand with radioactive cesium in a reactor meltdown and it is everywhere in the Fukushima prefecture and beyond.

    https://soundcloud.com/fairewinds-energy/ground-zero-japan-speaking-tour-no-2-021716

  • 1

    Alex80

    @Utrack: When Chernobyl happened, nuclear contamination hit basically the whole Europe. There were consequences for our health, of course, but our governments prevented us to panic as well. This is how the things work when a nuclear accident happens, everywhere. People have to deal with it.

    You could find interesting this article too:

    http://agreenroad.blogspot.it/2013/12/list-of-european-countries-with.html

    But you know what? I'm European, and I eat European mushrooms anyway. I'm not saying we have to minimize the impact of nuclear disasters. I'm against nuclear power. But if you live how you are doing, probably you'll suffer more for stress than because of nuclear pollution, or other kind of pollution.

  • -3

    Utrack

    Alex80 thank you for the link. I am 116 miles away from the nearest nuclear power plant and am grateful that I am that far away. But I do not know where all of my food comes from so it is a precaution that I detox.. There are two detoxification products on the market that are easy to obtain. One is activated charcoal tablets and the other is calcium bentonite clay which is activated by liquid. They both detox the body of radioisotopes and heavy metals.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    Stuart,

    It always makes me laugh when people bring up my location. Because that doesn't change science does it? It was relevant when I was making regular trips to Fukushima and it isn't relevant now.

    Well you made a good point, the continuous stream of radioactive water that is ALWAYS flowing into the ocean Hence the reason the food is tested. Hence the reason that some is not allowed in the market. But thanks to dilution (look it up or ask an elementary school teacher about it) the area where the seafood isn't safe to eat is very limited.

    Exactly, radiation drills holes in matter-and does so to the human body as a hot knife cutting butter!

    And yet, we naturally have radiation in the body.

    Utrack... one worker had leukaemia. One of the causes of leukaemia is radiation. There are many, many other causes of leukaemia. 4 months after that article was written, there have been no further incidents...

  • 0

    Mike O'Brien

    One is activated charcoal tablets and the other is calcium bentonite clay which is activated by liquid. They both detox the body of radioisotopes and heavy metals.

    They can also strip the body of needed chemicals. Taking them without the monitoring of an actual qualified medical doctor because they are 'easy to obtain' and because you are radiophobic can cause much worse medical problems, unless you are eating purely fish caught within the Fukushima plant port and plants grown on the grounds of the Fukushima nuclear plant.

  • -2

    Stuart hayward

    ZaphodFEB. 29, 2016 - 12:25AM JST stuart hayward:

    I normally wouldn't use dental X-rays as an analogy comparison, since X-rays aren't emitting high levels of Strontium and Cesium

    Err... can you explain what kind of rays "emit high levels Strontium and Cesium"?? How does that work, radiation emitting Strontium and Cesium?

    "Try reading my comment again, It says X-rays AREN'T Emitting Strontium or Cesium but Fukushima power plants are."

  • -2

    Utrack

    Mike. I do have saliva pH test strips to see whether I need to detox and I do so as a precaution.

  • 0

    Stuart hayward

    Heda_MadnessFEB. 29, 2016 - 04:50AM JST Stuart,

    It always makes me laugh when people bring up my location.

    "That's because you have always stated that there has never been a danger to the public from radioactive contamenents leaking or discharging from Fukushima nuclear power plants, and we know you live at least 3000 miles from ground zero." The only slight acknoloegement of the dangers you've given are, having total faith in TEPCO'S ability to test for contaminants to keep us all safe."

    that doesn't change science does it?

    "Are you referring to the Science you used about being concerned about repetitive exposure? Well that's exactly what is happening in Fukushima, it's not a one time leakage, it continues to this very day and well into the future."

    It was relevant when I was making regular trips to Fukushima and it isn't relevant now.

    " Fukushima is a large area, are you claiming you made "regular trips" to ground zero?"

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    Stuart... there are numerous scientific reports that conclude that few people will die as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident. These are from international scientists and have been carried in international media. What I report isn't new or news. It is however a fact. The danger has largely been removed by the fact that Japan learned the lessons from Chernobyl and adding in the fact that Japan has the strictest limits on contamination in food. Contaminated food was immediately removed from the market and high risk food was also removed. Again, these are quantifiable facts.

    It does continue to leak. Yet food in the region is back to pre accident levels. This is because is very localized. It's not spewing out across a wide area. It's leaking. Again this is factually correct.

    Indeed Fukushima is a very large area. I do not believe I have been to ground nor at any point have I claimed. You seem obsessed with my location yet it's irrelevant. When I was making my regular trips to Minami Soma in Fukushima and eating the local produce and drinking the local water I had the exact same opinion as I do now.

    Now perhaps instead of obsessing over my location you try and put together some form of scientific argument.

    Instead of nuclear is bad, you don't live in Japan which is awfully tiresome. And had I put forward a similar argument at university I wouldn't have graduated with a degree in environmental science.

    Nuclear may be new to you but I studied it 20 years ago. And what's interesting is that 20 years ago people made wild and wonderful claims overy Chernobyl. They didn't materialize either.

  • -1

    Mike O'Brien

    Utrack - saliva pH strips aren't a qualified medical doctor.

  • -2

    Utrack

    Mike, here in the US we have the luxury of information, whereas in Japan calcium bentonite clay can be sold but you are not allowed to say what it does on the packaging. The US Chamber of Commerce in Japan told me that much. Knowledge is power and Japan Govt not trying to give it up

  • -1

    Mike O'Brien

    Utrack, and what does that have to do with the monitoring by a medical professional when using them?

  • -2

    Utrack

    Mike if you can read and understand the color coding you should be okay in understanding your body pH

  • 0

    Mike O'Brien

    Utrack, but your saliva's pH has little if anything to do with heavy metals and radioisotopes in your body. It is more effected by your diet. Also neither 'detox' method you use really does what you believe they do.

    It is know as science, theories are tested and found true or false. Then scam artists lie about the results and convince gullible people to pay good money for useless (and potentially harmful) stuff.

  • -1

    Utrack

    Mike, Saliva pH test strips can tell you the pH level of anything liquid. Saliva, Water etc.. If you have an aquarium at home you may have test strips that also have a pH color code. As for the detox method(s) I choose, they have been proven by the US Government. google the US homeland security manual and the information is right there.."

  • 0

    Mike O'Brien

    Utrack, I know what and how pH strips work. What I clearly said was the results of your saliva's pH does not tell you if you have heavy metals and/or radioisotopes that need 'detoxing'.

    You will forgive me if I use science and not politics for my information. The actual science says that charcoal and bentonite might have some benefit immediately after ingesting some poisons by binding with them in the stomach and intestines so they can be excreted rather than absorbed. They have little to no effect on materials that have already been absorbed.

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