Record radiation found in fish near Fukushima plant
Workers stand near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on February 28.
August 21st, 2012
07:32 PM ET

Record radiation found in fish near Fukushima plant

Radioactive cesium measuring 258 times the amount that Japan's government deems safe for consumption has been found in fish near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Tuesday.

The Tokyo Electric Power Co. found 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in two greenlings in the sea within 20 kilometers of the plant on August 1 - a record for the thousands of Fukushima-area fish caught and tested since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to a nuclear disaster at the plant, Kyodo reported.

Japan's government considers fish with more than 100 becquerels per kilogram unsafe for consumption. A becquerel is a measurement of radioactive intensity.

TEPCO said it also found limit-exceeding radioactive cesium levels in several other kinds of fish and shellfish during the testing, which happened in the Fukushima area from mid-July to early August, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The finding comes 17 months after the disaster at the plant, which spewed radiation and displaced tens of thousands of residents from the surrounding area. It was the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

News of the finding also comes after scientists reported finding mutant butterflies - with abnormalities in their legs, antennae and abdomens, and dents in their eyes - in and around Fukushima prefecture in the months after the nuclear disaster.

The previous post-disaster radiation record in fish - 18,700 becquerels per kilogram, or 187 times the government's limit - was found in landlocked salmon in Iidate village, Fukushima prefecture, on March 18, according to Japan's fisheries agency, which has conducted its own tests in conjunction with local governments.

Japan's government has restricted fishing in the Fukushima area since the disaster. However, fishing for two kinds of octopus and one kind of shellfish has happened on a trial basis more than 50 kilometers outside the plant since June, NHK reported.

The vast majority of the thousands of fish tested since the disaster are within the government's radioactive cesium limit, according to the fisheries agency.

TEPCO plans to do more testing - of rock trout, their prey and mud from the seabed - in August and September, NHK reported.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. raven

    Color me shocked.

    August 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      I know, right??
      What did they expect?

      August 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hamsta

    Do they glow in the dark? I have fish in my tank that glow in the dark, bit they aren't radioactive.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Not me @8:25.
      Jeff knows better than that.

      August 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Flipper has three eyes! Waaaa. Wooooo. Waaaaaa aaaaa.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    It's kinda like fish extract the air from the water through thier gills. You don't say.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. raven

    Hey,m.s., and hey Jeff frank! Always try to say hello to you,Jeff frank, but you're quick!

    August 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Know what *I'm* doing?
    Scribbling through "visit Japan " on the bucket list...

    August 21, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. raven

    Lol, that actually really did make me lol,Jeff Frank!

    August 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Are you banasys twisted half sister?

    August 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Hey, m.s.!

    August 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    No no banasy bucket list. Please please.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. raven

    @ banasy: you too!! That made me laugh!!

    August 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hamsta

    Just further proves my point that there is no such thing as green energy. Every form of energy that the green energy people have come up with to replace coal and oil is even more destructive to the environment (without failure) than coal and oil. This is the result of nuclear energy, and men in special suits have to clean it up. Even after the men in martian suits clean it up and bury it under a mile of concrete the area won't be habitable for 20,000 years. Solar panels use a toxic gas during the manufacturing process that has 10,000 the potency of greenhouse gases than that of CO2. Wind turbines cause turbulance in the lower atmosphere not allowing the earth below to cool causing global warming. Hydroelectric requires dams to be built altering the natural flow of water. Even that cfl light bulb that uses less electricity. Those light bulbs contain mercury. CO2 is harmless if you stop ripping down the rain forest. Global warming is a myth, those chicken little politicians are getting rich by selling you snake oil. Eben your third grader knows global warmong is a myth if the teachers still teach them the cycle of life. Plants breathe in the CO2 we exhale and we breathe in the oxygen trees exhale.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I know. I'd be the best 23 seconds of your day...right?

    August 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    My wife has her choice. My Malibu or my Monte Carlo.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. raven

    I can't believe that they're testing different species,as if radioactivity is only in SOME fish, but others? Chow down on THOSE., cuz they MIGHT be safe....

    August 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Like the octopus?
      Yeah, sure, because they already *have* 8 appendages, so maybe a few more won't be noticed.

      August 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adnan Khan

      It's typically the ones higher up on the food chain that are the riskiest to eat in a disaster such as this, kind of like Tuna and Swordfish being high in mercury because the massive amount of smaller fish they consume (with the living smaller fish having tiny amounts in them) slowly cause the predator's levels of said contaminant to rise.

      August 21, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      @raven, before making a comment, you might want to know a little bit about what you are talking about.

      Adnan Khan, who responded to your ill-informed post before me, has covered the topic of the food chain, which is the basis behind this.

      It always amazes me when people spout off about things merely to advertize their lack of knowledge.

      Thanks for amazing me, raven.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
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