Posting in Energy
Sorry Charlie, you're radioactive! A bluefin tuna, irradiated in Japanese waters, was caught off the coast of California.
Sorry, Charlie, you're radioactive. A bluefin tuna contaminated by Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was caught off the Pacific coast of the United States.
News of the discovery was published today by the National Academy of Sciences, the Associated Press's Alicia Chang reported today. The tuna registered 10 times the level of radioactive cesium that's normal in fish off the California coast, but was still within safe-to-eat limits.
There's a 6,000-mile buffer between West coast of the United States and Japan, but a bluefin tuna can travel vast distances. Tagged fish have been known to travel nearly 5,000 miles in a little over 100 days.
There was an unprecedented release of radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in the days following the disaster. However, scientists say that the radiation poses no direct exposure threat to people, but have caution that the accumulated fallout lying in sediment is a potential danger for decades to come.
The findings were published in a report, "Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants on Marine Radioactivity," in December 2011. Levels of cesium and iodine peaked a month after the core meltdowns when seawater used to cool the reactors and spent fuel rods was pumped out of the facility into the nearby ocean.
Levels of radioactive cesium peaked at 50 million times normal levels, becoming the largest accidental release of radiation into the ocean in history. The concentrations of cesium offshore were much higher than those measured in the ocean after the Chernobyl accident 25 years ago.
However, unlike Chernobyl, ocean mixing processes "rapidly diluted" radiation off the Northwest coast of Japan.
(Photo credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Related on SmartPlanet:
- What the NRC really knew about Fukushima
- Fukushima ocean radiation could pose sleeper threat
- Nuclear meltdowns nearly made northern Japan uninhabitable
- Do we need to worry about radiation in our milk?
- Elevated radiation levels widespread in eastern Japan
- Test show Japanese child exposed to radiation
- Rice crops threatened by radiation
May 28, 2012
This is quite strange in that a recent article put the increase in cesium levels at 3%, not 10 times. Which can we trust?
the program, nuclear energy, is clean, safe, and reliable. If you don't belive me, read about the Three mile lsland accident, in Pennsylvania in '1979. Or the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986. Or the most reacent diaster in Japan, at Fukushima Dai-ichi. BTW here's a whole list, of nuclear incidents: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents
Mike has been following the Fukushima "Fuku-up" since it began and had forecast the arrival of the radiation to our shores a few months from now. It would seem it's arrived early. If it IS escalating this rapidly in the ocean, and you add that to the animal and plant mutations already appearing as far east as Michigan, the increasing storm systems coming into the Mid-West from the West may be precipitating (no pun intended-but I'll take it...) a disaster in our fields where we are already experiencing issues with the Bio-Tech.
from the original article: "The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that's still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments. ... But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances." I know what ALARA is do you? I understand that we want to minimize any exposure. But, let's be fair in the reporting and present both sides.
These tuna make this circuit each year. Some of the same fish will feed and grow and make the same second circuit next year - except they will consume and concentrate more cesium from the fish they feed on while near Japan. Since cesium's half life is 30 years then this problem is going to be around for a few human generations. The article doesn't detail other dangerous radioactive isotopes that might also be present from Fukushima's nuclear plants - and their nuclear plant designs that chose to ignore the area's earth quakes and tsunami risks. "The Fukushima accident has led to trace amounts of radiation, including iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137, being observed around the world (New York State, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, California, Montreal, and Austria). Large amounts of radioactive isotopes have also been released into the Pacific Ocean." (http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/radioactive-tuna-found-off-californian-coast/16378?tag=nl.e660)