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.

Mutant butterflies a result of Fukushima disaster, researchers say

Report criticizes TEPCO over Fukushima nuclear crisis

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

    Here's a glimpse of what the GOP wants for America.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. krm1007 ©™

    The denuclearization of South Asia (Subcontinent) particularly India is imperative.
    Quid pro quo transfer of nuclear technology by USA to third world countries such as India needs to be opposed on moral grounds. Billions of people live in that neighborhood and would be at risk from such catastrophes which I am sure the American people would not like to be a party to. We are all well aware that that region is prone to floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, massive power blackouts and of course terrorism placing such nuclear installations at tremendous risks. US Congress is urged to reconsider and cancel all the agreements for the transfer of such technologies due “Force Majeure”.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. RLTJ's

    It was a meltdown and there is no way radiation leak would go but out. So, we know it or not, we like it or not, we are contaminated and there is no stopping it. I would like to think it is not happening. That makes me sleep good at night.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. T

    Glowing fish with three eyes !
    Anyone seen Mr. C. Montgomery Burns anywhere ?!

    (Reminds me of the Simpsons episode: "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish.")

    August 22, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • evan

      between that and the bp oil spill i wonder how great of an effect it has had on the ocean

      August 22, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Don't think that you are safe eating fish caught in other parts of the ocean. Fish migrate huge distances in miles, so even fish caught hundreds of miles away may have previously been swimming in the radioactive water for a period of time and could be dosed with large amounts of radiation and you know that they will not disclose that.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • New Gawker


      August 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Golden God

      Blinky the fish.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Zwei Stein

    Oh don't worry about it. Just mutate with it.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. bb

    nuclear plant hit by Tsuma thats right on the shore line**** what did u think would happen***

    August 22, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. TheSmartestGuy

    Isn't this how GODZILLA got started?????

    August 22, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • New Gawker

      This is EXACTLY how Godzilla came to be.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoelD

      Just in time to defend us from Mothra.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. claudeeeeeee

    "Oh no,there's goes Tokoyo, go go Godzilla...." They might have been just a teenie bit before their time, but they got the idea right.

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

    make sure you check to see if your tuna can glows in the dark or not

    August 22, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. dam spahn

    This circle of radioactive poisoning will expand and expand. Meanwhile, more of these ticking time bombs are being built. Greed rules, doesn't it?

    August 22, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • lee s

      There havent been any built in the US since before 1980. If anything, we need modern stations.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    does this suprise anyone?

    August 22, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Emogene Snodgrass

    Somebody tell those fish to get out of there.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rein

    Wait a minute! Has anybody actually SEEN this so-called radiation? Who's afraid of a bunch of tiny particles? Granted, if one's body is all burned and cancerous, that isn't exactly a stroll in the park... But if I didn't receive adequate science instruction in school, doesn't that protect me? Maybe if we don't understand radioactivity, then there's nothing to worry about.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tesla

      Nice. I like the play on trying to make people who understand that radiation is not as dangerous as you think seem stupid. Let me try.


      Wow. That was fun. And it's all in good fun, right? Like your statement, no one really believes the stuff we just said, right? Right?

      August 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chainofcommand

      Your religion is showing again....

      August 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tesla

      Which religion? I'm a futurist, and a transhumanist. I also can't tolerate uneducated opinions, especially on matters where a little education makes all the difference.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Buzz

    do they have three eyes like on the Simpsons?

    August 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bob

    This is just another attempt by the liberal media to brainwash people into believing their views. First it was global warming, and now it's this. You keep your liberal "reporting" to yourselves b/c God watches over us and protects us

    August 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      I bet you support Akin too. Go back to your parallel universe.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • R

      I'm surprised you aren't wailing about germs being a liberal conspiracy too. They're too tiny to see! They must not be real!

      August 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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