Friday, October 14, 2011

#Radioactive Plankton 3 km off the Coast of Fukushima

Bio-concentration hard at work. NHK News Japanese reports that a high level of radioactive cesium has been detected from plankton in the ocean off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture.

The news only mentions, as usual, cesium-134 and cesium-137. If the researchers did test for other nuclides like strontium and plutonium, NHK is not saying anything. If they didn't, why didn't they?

NHK News (4:54AM JST 10/15/2011):


Radioactive cesium in high density has been detected from plankton collected off the coast of Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture in July. The marine survey was done by a research group at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. The group points out that the radiation effect may soon become apparent in big fish like sea bass by way of food chain.


In July, the research group at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology on board a survey ship surveyed the ocean from the coast of Iwaki City out to about 60 kilometers off the coast and collected plankton in order to study the effect of radioactive materials on marine life.


The analysis of zooplankton collected 3 kilometers off the coast revealed the high density of radioactive cesium at 669 becquerels/kg. It includes cesium-134 whose half life is 2 years, indicating the radioactive materials from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant being concentrated in plankton.


Zooplankton become food for various kinds of fish. The research group points out that by way of food chain radioactive materials may concentrate, and start to seriously affect large-size fish like sea bass.


The leader of the group, Professor Takashi Ishimaru, says, "Due to the southerly ocean current, the highly contaminated water from the nuke plant continuously flowed into this area of the ocean, raising the radioactive material density in plankton. We need to further study how long the effect of radiation on fish will continue."

Well, according to Japan's Fisheries Agency, bio-concentration and accumulation were not supposed to happen, as they made it abundantly clear when the Japanese government sanctioned the release of "low" contamination water from the nuke plant. Well they did.

Not only they did happen, but clearly at an accelerated pace. Bigger fish have already been found with surprisingly high levels of radioactive cesium. The ocean contamination is probably of much bigger scale and the degree of contamination much more serious than the Japanese government has dared to admit so far.


kintaman said...

I will never consume anything from the sea ever again.

Anonymous said...

Forget Californian fuku bequerels?

Anonymous said...

I thought that the Greenpeace results showed that bio-concentration wasn't happening, at least for cesium. Maybe not enough tests?

If bio-accumulation and bio-magnification were happening, the contamination detected would never go down, it would just keep adding up, like it happens in the case of methylmercury.

Atomfritz said...

This might be just the beginning.

When Tepco abandons the plant, a big part of the remaining 99% of the radioactive inventory that wasn't released by air will be dissolved, flowing off the plant and then dilute in the seas.

This would be a nuclear catastrophe that dwarfs all that happened before.

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