Originally published January 23 2014
Radioactive cesium uptake continues in fish off the coast of Fukushima
by Rebecca Winters
(NaturalNews) It has been almost three years, and Fukushima continues to endanger the biosphere. A study published in the October 2013 Journal of Environmental Radioactivity on the effects of the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in marine life confirms that radioactive cesium is continuing to be concentrated in the Pacific Ocean's aquatic food chain.
While cesium-134 has a half-life of just over two years, cesium-137's half life is over 30 years. Although the radioactive concentrations found differ amongst various types of ocean life, in the years following the disaster, researchers have continued to frequently detect cesium-134 and cesium-137 concentrations above the set regulatory limit of 100 becquerels per kilogram. Sixty-three different species in 2011 and 41 species in 2012 were found to exceed radioactive cesium levels in this study, and the main source of cesium appears to be detritus within ocean sediment.
Detrirus, or the non-living organic material that settles on the sea floor, is a very important substance for cycling the ocean's nutrients, and it essentially serves as the basis for the ocean's foodweb. So what this research shows is that the literal bottom of the ocean's food chain is being continuously contaminated by Fukushima, a deadly process that has remained constant this entire time since the earthquake and tsunami struck the power plant back in March 2011.
Contamination spreading...Following the release of this research, the Japanese government-affiliated Fisheries Research Agency reported that fish caught at Fukushima's Niidagawa River about 40 km south of the plant in November 2013 contained 124 times the limit for radioactive cesium at 12,400 Bq/kg. Diet analysis studies of foods such as fruits and mushrooms from Fukushima farms have also been found to be contaminated with cesium.
Blue fin tuna that has made its way across the Pacific to California coastal waters has also been found to be contaminated with cesium. Ocean simulations have shown that a radioactive plume of cesium-137 is due to flow into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peaking in 2016, but authorities continue to claim that the radiation will be diluted and pose little threat to humans.
"I couldn't believe that such slipshod work was being done."New leaks at the Daiichi plant are reported all the time. In December alone, there were reports of five leaks from four different storage tank areas. Just days ago, former Fukushima worker Yoshitatsu Uechi told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper that the plant has been cutting corners on the clean-up of one of the worst disasters in the modern history of the planet, even using simple adhesive tape to cover openings in storage tanks. This corroborates other worker stories coming out of Fukushima. A whistleblower came forward a few months ago with allegations that the clean-up efforts there are a sloppy tangle of mostly unsupervised subcontractors linked to the Yakuza, Japan's organized crime syndicate.
It was only recently in the summer of 2013 that officials at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) admitted that the plant has been continuously leaking contaminated, radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean at the rate of some 300 to 400 tons per day, despite repeated denials that this was the case. President and co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility Gordon Edwards recently said in an interview that it's because the reactor cores have now melted into the ground. Keep in mind that this has been going on for over 1,000 days now, ever since March 11, 2011.
However, once TEPCO finally admitted that hundreds of tons of radioactive groundwater leak into the ocean daily, the power company then attempted to pacify fears by stating that the irradiated groundwater - somehow, amazingly - remains in a 0.3 km zone just in front of the damaged station. The Japanese government apparently stands behind this claim. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution senior scientist Ken Buesseler told Bloomberg in an interview, "These statements like a 0.3 square-kilometer zone are silly. It's not true to the science."
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