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. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    We ate from Lake Michigan banasy.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Back in the 60's I used to go to Port Washington from Milwaukee with my parents and buy a 5lb. box of smoked chubs from Ewing Bros, for dinner at my grandparents house. I don't know if Ewings are still there. But man? That's some good eating.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dan W

    I thought it built up in the food chain over time, how many other larger animals ate some of those fish and are at the four corners of the globe? Remember, TEPCO was forced to dump water into the Pacific Ocean that was 1,000,000 times higher than their government standard. Studies show that the radiation is not diluting as scientists predicted, its more like oil in water rather than a nice even spread across how ever many quadrillions of gallons of water there is in the ocean. I'm just waiting for radioactive rain here in California from evaporating ocean water, too bad we outsourced our radiation detectors to the south, the place most likely to wish for California to be bathed in radiation and fall into the ocean.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • BigHwasdemo

      I'm perfectly in favor of radioactive rain and California falling into the Pacific. Everything bad starts there.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • karek40

      I don't agree Dan, no one ever said they wished you to be bathed in radiation, now about falling into the ocean, well.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick C.

      I think you have us confused with Texax or Arizona. Those Neanderthals are always in the news killing each other.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack 63

      Look at the bright side, once the radiation rains start you can turn off all the street lights since the whole place will be glowing. Huge savings in electricity.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Fat sucker should of wound up in New York, 2012, with a conductor smackin him in the head asking "where's your ticket", finally getting kicked off the subway train, and gets arrested. Now that's wormy action cowboys.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. I live in Waukegan, Il

    And I not only eat things from the lake, I eat them raw. I drink lake water to wash it down. Good stuff. I don't care about industrial waste or runoff, or even how many animals and people urinated in it. I love it.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. wormy action cowboys

    Look for us on toy store shelves this christmas shopping season.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Calling all good christians

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    Hosea 4:3
    Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away

    August 22, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • ScottCA

      psst those are all ancient myths, there is no evidence to support gods existance.

      the null hypothesis is that god does not exist. Since there is no evidence to support the existance of god, the null hypothesis holds as the logical positon. To abandon this position is to delve into insanity.

      Just as it is insane to believe in the 6ft tall green monster in my closet without evidence, it is insane to believe in god without evidence.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      @scottca Well we dont see air yet we believe its there. How can anybody deny the existence of a god after everything in life being so perfectly put together. You think we are the perfect distance from the son cause of coincidence? This is the only planet with humans on it with the perfect living conditions yet you say there is no god? please man

      August 22, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      @chris – God has nothing to do with the way things worked out or our distance from our star, in MY EYES. I believe in science. But I also believe in perception. When people believe in a god – that god is real to them, and even more so when masses of people believe in it. If you don't believe in this god, it simply does not and can not exist. Perception IS reality, and not many people understand that there is not ONE, but MANY realities in this universe....

      That being said – we're boned. This isn't the worst since Chernobyl – this is many, many times worse.. Pray for us. =P

      August 22, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Smokey

    Godzilla's gonna be coming up out of there before too long, we all know it.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • mr774

      I forecasted that there would be a comment about Godzilla.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
    • T

      And Matthew Broderick will be following along....(LOL).

      August 22, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. federico

    don't eat sushi!

    August 22, 2012 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. zoosphere

    We should be careful about invisible enemy, nuclear radiation.

    August 22, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Tesla

      That's right! Be careful!

      LOOK OUT! There's some right behind you! And in front of you! It's all around you! Oh, the humanity!

      Even worse, like the worst horror monsters out there... it's INSIDE you!

      Ionizing radiation exists in many forms, and you are bathed in it daily. Deal with it.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil in Oregon

      Yep, it's pouring out of our main nuclear power source, the sun, at a truly alarming rate.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. eamon

    Godzilla does sound like a whale of a monkey. May God help you Bible readers if Godzilla comes along . "We should be careful about invisible enemy......" says someone here. Yes,God.

    August 22, 2012 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. Santos-Dumont

    And, of course whaling is still permitted for "scientific research".

    August 22, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. gisthatright

    Everyone's a comedian. We all live in denial of the truth. Why are people so determined to destroy things.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. dave

    Can anyone eplain why they put the back up generators in the basements with the plants being in a major flood zone...not too bright.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Phil in Oregon

    Duuuhhh. The frikin fish glow in the dark, for crying out loud.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
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