High levels of radioactive element found in fish off Fukushima

This March 5, 2007 file photo shows workers harvesting bluefin tuna from Maricultura's tuna pens off Mexico. New research found increased levels of radiation in Pacific bluefin tuna caught off the coast of Southern California. Scientists said the radiation found in the fish came from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant that was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Photo: AP  

Record levels of radioactive caesium were detected in fish caught within 20 kilometres of Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, news reports said on Wednesday.

The operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said on Tuesday that it had found 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive caesium in greenling, 258 times higher than the government safety standard.

Fishing in waters off the plant has been voluntarily restricted since the nuclear disaster at the plant, which went into meltdown after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Less than a month after the start of the disaster, Tokyo Electric dumped more than 11,000 tons of wastewater containing radioactive substances into the Pacific.

The previous record of radioactive contamination in fish was 18,700 becquerels per kilogram detected in cherry salmon caught in March, according to the Fisheries Agency.

Wakao Hanaoka, a Greenpeace Japan official, said the government now needs to carry out a full investigation of radioactive contamination in a wide range of sea areas off Fukushima, which has not been done yet.

The organization’s surveys show higher levels of radioactive contamination found in fish and seaweed sampled in areas further from the Fukushima plant.

Factors that affect the spread of contamination include ocean currents and seabed configuration, Mr. Hanaoka added.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:58:57 AM |

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