Assessing Fukushima-derived radiocesium in migratory Pacific predators

??? Good news if true…



The 2011 release of Fukushima-derived radionuclides into the Pacific Ocean made migratory sharks, teleosts, and marine mammals a source of speculation and anxiety regarding radiocesium (134+137Cs) contamination, despite a lack of actual radiocesium measurements for these taxa.

We measured radiocesium in a diverse suite of large predators from the North Pacific Ocean and report no detectable (i.e., ≥ 0.1 Bq kg-1 dry wt) of Fukushima-derived 134Cs in all samples, except in one olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) with trace levels (0.1 Bq kg-1).

Levels of 137Cs varied within and across taxa, but were generally consistent with pre-Fukushima levels and were lower than naturally-occurring 40K by one to two orders of magnitude.

Predator size had a weaker effect on 137Cs and 40K levels than tissue lipid content.

Predator stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) were used to infer recent migration patterns, and showed that predators in the central, eastern, and western Pacific should not be assumed to accumulate detectable levels of radiocesium a priori.

Non-detection of 134Cs and low levels of 137Cs in diverse marine megafauna far from Fukushima confirms negligible increases in radiocesium, with levels comparable to those prior to the release from Fukushima.

Reported levels can inform recently developed models of cesium transport and bioaccumulation in marine species.

Nuclear Hotseat #271: How Radiation in Oceans Contaminates Our Food Supply – Tim Deere-Jones


This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Tim Deere-Jones is an independent marine pollution consultant and a specialist in the behavior and fate of marine pollutants in ocean, coastal and estuarine environments. He explains how radiation in the ocean from Fukushima and the UK’s Sellafield nuclear facility have impacted food safety at tremendous distances, as far away as the US West Coast.  A jaw-dropping eye-opening report.  This is an Encore presentation originally presented on Nuclear Hotseat #225 from October 13, 2015.

Numnutz of the Week:

The only thing “super” about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe-Baby showing up dressed as Super Mario at the Rio Olympics is his gall at continuing to lie about the nuclear contamination awaiting anyone who dares to attend the 2020 Tokyo Radioactive NOlympics.  (And that ball he’s holding is pure projection, if not delusion…)


Listen Here:

Nuclear Hotseat #271: How Radiation in Oceans Contaminates Our Food Supply – Tim Deere-Jones


China hopes to jointly counter Fukushima’s radioactive pollution with S. Korea




BEIJING, June 3 (Yonhap) — China’s foreign ministry said Friday it hopes to strengthen communication with relevant countries such as South Korea to resolve pollution from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“Japan should take effective measures with responsibility for its people, neighboring countries and the international community,” China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a regular press briefing.

Earlier on Friday, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that an official from Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, admitted to concealing the harmfulness of the disaster. It also cited a U.S. expert who said “80 percent of the leaked radioactive substances have flown into the sea.”

Hua urged Japan to beef up its capability to deal with the disaster and provide relevant information to international society in a “timely, comprehensive and accurate” manner.

China has been warning its citizens and organizations to be cautious in visiting Fukushima since the disaster took place, and the suggestion is still valid, Hua said.

A devastating earthquake struck off Japan’s northeast coast in March 2011, triggering a tsunami that led to the reactor meltdown and radiation leak.


Autoradiograph: radioactivity after the 3/11 quake

By Masamichi Kagaya (Photographer) and Dr. Satoshi Mori (University of Tokyo) 

As a consequence of the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, the cores of the first to third nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant underwent meltdowns as external power for the cooling pumps was lost. As a result, a huge amount of radioactive particles was released into the air. These particles were carried by southeasterly winds to Iitate Village, Fukushima City, and Nakadori, a central region of Fukushima Prefecture, leaving high levels of radioactive contamination in their wake. The particles were further carried along multiple routes creating radioactively contaminated areas in regions from Ibaraki to Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, as well as in Northern Kanto and the Tohoku Region (Northeastern Japan).

Whether we are in Tokyo, Fukushima, or even in front of the damaged nuclear reactor buildings, we are exposed to radiation that we are unaware of. It is too small to see, it cannot be heard and it is odorless. Therefore, despite living in a region contaminated with radioactive particles, to this day, we are not consciously aware of the radiation. NaI (TI) scintillation detectors and germanium semiconductor detectors are used to measure the amount of radioactive contamination in soil, food, and water in units called Becquerels (Bq). Radioactivity is further measured in Sieverts (Sv), which is an index of the effects of radioactive levels in the air, doses of exposure, and so on. Nevertheless, from such values, it is impossible to know how the radioactive particles are distributed or where they are concentrating in our cities, lakes, forests, and in living creatures. These values do not enable us to “see” the radioactivity. Thus, radioactive contamination has to be perceived visibly, something that can be done with the cooperation of Satoshi Mori, Professor emeritus at Tokyo University. Professor Mori is using autoradiography to make radioactive contamination visible.

Today, dozens of radiographic images of plants created by Professor emeritus Mori since 2011 are on display together with radiographic images of everyday items and animals. This collection of radiographic images (autoradiographs) is the first in history to be created for objects exposed to radiation resulting from a nuclear accident. I hope that visitors will come away with a sense of the extent of contamination in all regions subject to the fallout — not just those in and around Fukushima. At the same time, I hope that this exhibition will remind visitors of the large region extending from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant to Namie Town, Iitate Village and the dense forests of the Abukuma Mountain Area that, to this day, remain restricted areas. The radiation affects animals that continue to live in these areas and be exposed to heavy radiation, as well as the 140,000 people that had to evacuate and who lost personal assets (homes, property, work, interpersonal relationships). These people are in addition to the victims who directly breathed in the radioactive materials, subjecting them to internal exposure — victims that include anyone from the residents near the plant to people in Tokyo and the Kanto Region.

Although what can be done is limited, new progress has made it possible to record the otherwise invisible radioactivity and make it visible. The history of needless nuclear accidents occurring in the United States, the Soviet Union (Russia) and Japan over the last several decades may still potentially be repeated elsewhere in the world, but hopefully future generations will see the cycle be broken. Through exhibitions and other means of disseminating knowledge about radioactivity, future generations may learn to leave behind dependence on nuclear power and be free from the dangers of nuclear accidents and nuclear waste.

Radioactive contamination level jumped over 57 times outside of underground wall


January 13, 2015

Cs-134/137 and all β nuclides (including Sr-90) density showed the rapid increase in groundwater, according to Tepco.

The sample was taken in the seaside of Reactor 2. Sampling date was 1/12/2015.

Compared to the previous measurement of 1/8/2015, Cs-134/137 density rose up by 57 times, all β nuclides density also rose up by 57 times.

This is the highest reading measured from this boring. Tepco hasn’t identified the reason. This boring is located outside of the underground wall to stop contaminated groundwater flowing to the sea.

TEPCO groundwater plume mapping assumed the contaminated water released from the unit 1 turbine building would eventually reach this area.

TEPCO said within recent weeks that the portions of this trench that were not yet filled in with concrete were seeing contaminated water re-fill the trench as they pumped it out and that both ends of the trench seem to rise and fall with each other.

The concreting of the unit 2 trench that had been full of highly contaminated water since 2011 has caused leaking contaminated water to divert over to this area.

Theoretically, it is natural to assume the high level of contamination is flowing to the sea without anything to stop.

Source: Fukushima Diary