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. Harrison

    Try the sushi!

    August 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel

    Just microwave it.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lee s

    We are just toughing up the earths skin. It builds character.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bluejeans

    This is just the beginning, and LOOK OUT CALIFORNIA because here it comes.

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

      Just like the airborn plume, it will be diluted. The Pacific ocean is pretty large. California is not in any imminent danger.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Tucker

      No actually this is about the extent of it.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sbp

    Simpsons did it.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gary

    Im living in las vegas, nv we have it 50 years deep in the ground and we just keep diging to build and it blowes in the wind so that we all get a littel taste. but its the dogs i feel sorry for ive never seen aney place with so many sick tumeress dogs not humers. so send us the fish we'll stock lake mead thay have a home hear.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lee

    Mutant butterflies? Its Mothera!!! AHHHH!!

    August 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick

    Ah, the source of Blinky revealed...

    August 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pin

    Sad to see the funny comments. This world is dying because of all our greed.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pppa


      August 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snoozie


      August 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • SciGuy73

      The world is dying of ignorance.

      August 23, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mahhn

    The original story of Godzilla is exactly as this has played out. The monster however is the result of the polution, and like Godzilla, it cannot be defeated, it will kill for hundreds if not thousands of years.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Anomic Office Drone


    August 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. whoCares

    I bet the owners are telling everyone it is safe

    August 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tilmeismoney

    How come it don't bother the fish????

    August 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. livingston

    It's okay – they have restricted fishing in they area. They can do that safely because fish don't swim. I hope they all got the memo to stay inside the area.

    August 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crazy Joe

      They broadcast notices on the local radio and the fish hear them so they know not to go outside the area.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FU

    Ahh rilly? Ah rilly then, so the fish are radioactive then ahh?

    August 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
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