Asahi: Gov’t worried about highly radioactive fish — Why are radiation readings still 100s of times over official safe limits?

Published: November 13th, 2012 at 7:09 am ET


(Subscription Only) Title: Worries over highly radioactive fish prompt study
Source: Asahi
Date: November 13, 2012

Persistently high radioactivity in some fish caught close to the Fukushima nuclear plant has sparked a government investigation into the physiological basis for contamination and why radiation readings in some specimens remain hundreds of times over the official safe limit.

[…] The overall trend has been a decline in detected amounts of radioactive cesium.

However, in August, two greenlings caught 20 kilometers north of the Fukushima plant were found to have cesium levels of 25,800 becquerels per kilogram, the highest level ever measured in fish since the nuclear accident. The government standard for food is 100 becquerels per kilogram.

And in March, tests recorded a level of 18,700 becquerels per kilogram in freshwater salmon in the Niidagawa river near Iitate […]

The forthcoming study will analyze cesium levels in the fish’s otolith, a part of the inner ear. The otolith is widely used in such research because it is an organ where trace elements tend to accumulate over the animal’s lifespan, leaving a growth record that can be likened to the rings of a tree. […]

Published: November 13th, 2012 at 7:09 am ET


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37 comments to Asahi: Gov’t worried about highly radioactive fish — Why are radiation readings still 100s of times over official safe limits?

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    NRC Events report finally posted – several close calls. Check out the latest.

    • lam335 lam335

      Speaking of event reports, does anyone know if ichicax stopped doing the "Fallout Forecast" videos on YouTube? I didn't care so much about the Fallout Forecast itself (which was basically just a weather report), but I liked the fact that she provided a run-down of the "events" that had happened at nuclear plants over the previous couple of days. Although I subscribed to her YouTube channel and do get updates for her Nuked Radio show, I have not received any Fallout Forecast emails for several weeks. Does anyone know if she still does these reports?

  • Gee, non-stop radiation from three melt-throughs and the disaster that is #4 along with the burning of radioactive waste and the continuous dump of radioactive water in the ocean, and yet scientists are puzzled as to why radiation is 100 ties over "normal" limits? Has the radiation impaired their critical thinking skills o the point they have lost the ability to see the obvious?

    A few days ago I read a disturbing story that Tamatoys, a Japanese adult goods company, manufactures phermones to mimic scents emanating from the body cavities of prepubescent children ( ), and yet no one can come up with a SINGLE solution to stop the radiation from infecting the entire planet. What has the world come to? TEPCO said the radiation would stop when they invent the technology in ten years. Perhaps the country should redefine its priorities and stop wasting money on essential oils from Tamatoys and instead concentrate on finding a way to stop Fukushima from killing the planet.

    • lam335 lam335

      "… the burning of radioactive waste and the continuous dump of radioactive water in the ocean,"

      And they are also dumping the ash that results from burning the contaminated waste into the bay.

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      "SINGLE solution to stop the radiation from infecting the entire planet." Kelly, here is how radiation flowing with ground water could be greatly reduced.

      Build a Closed Loop Heat Sink at Fukushima. This could use traditional cooling towers. (Otherwise, the system could recirculate Harbor water, by enclosing the entire Harbor within the steel cofferdam.) A cofferdam would be built below the level of the corium completely around Buildings1,2,3,&4. Uncontaminated ground water would then flow around the outside of the cofferdam, and into the Pacific Ocean. Inside the cofferdam, hot contaminated water that has cooled the 3 bus-sized 100 ton Rogue Nuclear Reactors in the mudrock under Buildings1,2,&3 would be pumped out of extraction wells located downhill from the reactor buildings. This water would be pumped to the cooling towers for cooling, then pumped into injection wells inside the cofferdam, uphill from Buildings1,2,&3. Water would recirculate within this Closed Loop Heat Sink, rather than contaminating the entire Pacific Ocean.
      Problem: TEPCO insists on perpetuating the myth that the corium is still contained within the ruins of Buildings1,2,&3. They must now acknowledge the truth: Coriums1,2,&3 are located many feed under the buildings in the mudrock.

      • patb2009

        the cofferdam would need to be closed from below, they would need to dig deep boreholes and run
        tunnels and drain systems to make it closed. It would be a phenomenal effort.

        Also, the cofferdam would need to be earthquake hardened, or a quake will crack it

        • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

          Good points, patb2009. The path and flowrate of ground water inside the cofferdam would be more or less identical to the path and flowrate of the ground water below the bottom of the cofferdam. This would make the mixing of contaminated ground water and fresh ground water minimal. At this point, I could live with it. I'm afraid that doesn't want to spend any money at all on Fuku. Asking them to stop contaminating the Pacific Ocean with radiation is difficult enough, without asking them to build a floor under the corium, too. It is a phenominal project, even as it is.
          Cofferdams are constructed using interlocking steel pilings. There would be lots of give in such a cofferdam to survive most earth quakes. Many thanks for your observations.
          Japan will begin to fail as a nation soon. Everyone there is sick, even now. When Japan ceases to be able to deal with Fukushima, it will be up to the nations of the world to step in and begin the work of containing the Fuku Corium. I'd be surprised if multiple nations weren't working on the Cofferdam and Casket five years from now.

      • PhillipUpNorth, I misspoke Your idea sounds plausible – at least from what I can understand. At least it would be something. I was angry at the stupidity of a scientist wondering why cesium levels would be increasing when the answer is obvious, and I didn't pay attention to details when I hit reply. I am frustrated that the Japanese continue to produce all sorts of obscure products that keep humans disconnected form their spiritual center and the earth the walk upon while TEPCO says we must wait for the technology to be invented before they can do anything about the radiation polluting the entire planet. I have seen may suggestions on enenews, so I should not have said a single idea. I meant that TEPCO and the Japanese government have not come up with any solutions, despite several offered to them. I am glad that you posted the closed loop heat sink idea.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Pacific Ocean currents just off northern Japan create a counterclockwise swirl in the ocean. This swirl recirculates the radiation around and around off the Fukushima coast. "Cesium levels of 25,800 becquerels per kilogram" have been found in fish caught in this swirl, according to this report. See 4:30 into this wonderful NASA Simulation of Global Ocean Currents to see the ocean current swirl off northern Japan.:

    A Closed Loop Heat Sink is badly needed to cool the 3 Rogue Nuclear Reactors located in the mudrock under Buildings1,2,&3 at Fuku. As it is, ground water passes around nuclear corium in the rock. The heavily contaminated ground water then flows immediately into the Pacific Ocean. Unless this water is captured and recirculated to cool the corium, the entire Pacific Ocean Fishery will soon collapse. Who wants to eat radioactive fish and seafood? Sorry, Red Lobster. I used to love your restaurants, but you do not identify where most of the seafood you serve comes from. 🙁

    • Trying to square that ccw current with the ones mentioned on Wikipedia:

      The ocean currents surrounding the Japanese Archipelago: 1. Kuroshio 2.Kuroshio extension 3. Kuroshio countercurrent 4. The Tsushima Current 5. The Tsugaru Current 6. The Sōya Current 7. Oyashio 8. The Liman Current. [The Kuroshio Current is the west side of the clockwise North Pacific ocean gyre].

      The ones we're concerned with are ocean-current numbers 1, 2, 3 and 7 since the others are mostly on the West side of Japan.

      So, besides the clockwise-moving grand Kuroshio current included above there are three unnamed [not numbered] clockwise mini-swirls – one off Fukushima, one off Tokyo and one off Osaka.

      Also, the south-moving #3 current Oyashio current would bring contaminated ocean water from the north of Japan down to its south – partially taken up by the Tokyo and Osaka miniswirls that would recirculate contaminated water forever and ever.

      Rather than look at the fish, they might consider looking at TEPCO and where it is dumping the water.

      That being said, I'd better watch the infamous NASA's take on it. (I'll explain the "infamous" some other time).

    • This link might work better:

      11/6/2012 — Oceans rising — NASA/JPL data confirms dramatic rise over past 60 years

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Correction: the Swirl off northern Japan in the Pacific is clockwise, not counterclockwise.

  • dosdos dosdos

    The government knows why. What worries them is that it's still public knowledge.

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Radioactive Boars And Deer (Still) Unfit To Eat 950 Miles From Chernobyl; via A Green Road

    Fukushima: 2012 Hawaii & Arizona Dairy Milk Test Up To 800% Higher Than Safety Limits; via A Green Road

  • many moons

    Still? Still shouldn't be a word used around another word radiation…the replacement word is Forever….that's fundamentally what radiation is forever….not still…'s existence in our lives is now forever!

    • Cindy Cindy

      I Wholeheartedly agree with you Many Moons. This "accident" is going to go on FOREVER. There is no such state as "cleaned-up". It will be here FOREVER…. I hate it when the MSM articles Fukushima in the Past Tense as if it's done and over with.

      • Anthony Anthony

        In terms of our way of thinking the CONTAMINATION will go on forever. What has and is being done to Earth is deeply irresponsible. Tipping point.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        I think every time there is a criticality it's like starting at day one. Perhaps I'm mistaken and I certainly hope so but that is my understanding thus I'm trying to remember when the last criticality occurred as I have not been paying attention to the live feed or recent I-131 contamination. Does anyone know? Thanks in advance.

  • many moons

    Gov’t worried about highly radioactive……children, plant workers, mothers…
    We never read these headlines….the gov't is never worried about the people…it worries about the industries that may hinder exports etc.

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      You are very right, many moons. So sad. :(. The earth spirits grow weary with we humans, who so quickly have spoiled this lovely Earth. The spirits deserve our gratitude and our gifts. Instead, we have spoiled the Earth for an eon.

  • Mack Mack

    From "Natural News" —>

    "Sky-high levels of radioactivity in fish from Fukushima means inedible seafood for at least a decade"

  • Ganxet Ganxet


    but it seems like the leaking RV stopped leaking.
    if all this mess continues, 10 years it's not a true value.

  • ftlt

    Just finished reading "Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq" By Dower..
    The last few chapters of the book gives a insightful look at just how centralized the running of Japan's economy is in every sector and how it came to be post war with American direction… It answers many of our questions of why the Japanese govt doesn't do something… They are by the very nature of their highly centralized govt/business culture prevented from dealing with this horror of horrors… Sadly, they are in a mental business as usual vapor lock.. (They book does not mention Fukushima .. Probably was being published before it had happened)

    Some interesting stuff for you might be interested in the culture of dropping of the bomb.. He spends quite a bit of chapters on this issue.. (Think he was a bit unfair here to the decision makers who dropped the bomb – he fails to discussed the maybe millions of lives of Japanese and other Asian occupied countries that were saved from certain starvation and further conflict (there were still millions of Japanese troops in the field)had the war been protracted even for another 6 months and further bombing – my only complaint – he was too busy proving his point here)

    He brings you back to Iraq as what he is writing about applies to it…Does not spend much time on Iraq proper.. Think it works well.. It assumes some understanding of the US occupation and the history of the conflict..

    • Maggie123

      THANK YOU, Ftlt, for recommending Dower's book. "Culture" (attitudes, beliefs) are key to understanding. I've not read the book, and was interested based on your thoughts, impressions.

      For quick access to his ideas I found these:
      2010 review:

      2008 UCSB lecture: Dower narrows his focus to compare pre-WW2 Imperial Japan with pro-war culture in America especially leading up to and following 9/11. He gives evidence of earlier underlying cultural beliefs at work in both nations. (1hr + 20 min Q/A.)

      I find many academics studying human affairs bring psychology to bear for its relevance in understanding. (Economist Richard Wolff mentions psychology's insights at times, as does Noam Chomsky. Psychology is intimately entangled with language, and language with cultural values, as George Lakoff continually reminds.

      I wait for academics in psychology to publish general audience works that wake us to vital importance that history and economics developments are rooted in our psychological nature! (Behavioral economics has made a start – but again – comes from economists, not psychology academics!)

      Dower's liberal hopes/politics show by lecture end, but even for anti-establishment politics, he's got much detail and insight to share. His life's work Japanese history – a rich resource AND a man who cares! Thanks again!!

  • Wyakin Wyakin

    Many good observations, reflections, and information sharing comments continue on this tragedy. All the exchange is valuable. The only thing that will mobilize governments and industry is money and politics.

    PhillipUpNorth has offered some interesting technical solutions on several posts. The industry has lots of money and has had decades to politically organize. He is correct in noting that fisheries have billions in economic potential to lose. So do all economic interests in the path of radioactive destruction. I am not diminishing the fact that the value of life as we know it on this planet is permanently being affected by this disaster on a biological level. I assert that the immediate solution resides in politics and money.

    I’d like to challenge everyone who has been following this disaster, including those who have posted hundreds of worthy comments, to think about how nuclear pollution affects economic interests and start contemplating how to get economic interests and political interests at all levels of governance, aligned with those who recognize the true biological and multigenerational destructive force of nuclear energy. This is the only way the meltdowns at Fukishima will be addressed and a permanent solution to nuclear pollution will be legislated.

    A global catastrophe is unfolding with the potential of becoming significantly worse. Without the directed solution based mobilization of money and politics, the outcome of this disaster is predictable.

  • PurpleRain PurpleRain

    Excellent comments. I still think that a huge step in the right direction comes from our educating more and more people about what is going on. So many people refuse to hear or won't listen. I truly don't understand that. But beyond this — where is all the money that these so-called industry leaders have??? Wasn't TEPCO who couldn't afford the car batteries? Isn't the money just as spread-around far and wide as to make it seem relatively small — unless Japan has a few of their own Donald Trumps or ? Sheldon Addison.s or ? Bain off-shore investors..?? Who does own the purse-strings? Is it all tied into a billion investor retirement accounts on the stock market or in the hands of big global banks??? Maybe if we better knew the answers to this it might help us target some better strategy. I think it was Radchick who first mentioned the opportunity to start a whole lot of decon and mitigation companies. Maybe that's where future money opportunity would come — if they didn't just pollute worse to make more. (shrug)

  • arclight arclight

    SOUTEIGAI: BEYOND IMAGINATION -Feature on Fukushima -Audio
    21 OCTOBER 2012
    ‘Souteigai’ or ‘beyond imagination’, said the Japanese government spokesman when the tsunami waves rolled across a 300-kilometre-long strip of coastline. ‘Souteigai’ was also the word used in self-justification by nuclear plant owner TEPCO in reference to the meltdown at Fukushima. And ‘Souteigai’ was the thought on people’s minds as they were forced to watch the black water rolling over houses and people and flattening everything – and on the minds of the 80,000 evacuees who lost their homes because of Fukushima.

  • arclight arclight

    Sacrificing Our Children: Nuclear Accidents challenge Priorities of United Nations by Akio Matsumura

    Finally, the international system is only one part of addressing responses to nuclear accidents. Governments and media cannot shirk their important roles, and should focus on putting human security before national security and political survival. The bottom line is that our children should not be lost in the clamor of the political circus or forgotten in the debates of headstrong scientists.

  • arclight arclight

    one last but its really on topic
    they dont know what they are doing! the labs are largely rubbish .. for most isotopes

    65 percent of worlds nuclear laboratories get Strontium 90 measurement wrong –
    “The determination of 90Sr proved difficult for 65 % of the participants which submitted results outside the acceptable range (± 20 %). No improvement could be seen compared to 90Sr determination in one of the previous ILC exercises (Wätjen et al., 2008).
    The laboratories concerned, i.e. the vast majority of laboratories reporting 90Sr results, are urged to review their analysis procedures.”
    European Commission

    🙂 oops!

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      This is where human error just keeps compounding. I had a cultural anthropology teacher that said – if you don't know the answer, don't guess, don't fill in the blank. In our data collection society, people fill in the blanks to answers they don't know on forms and such all the time, then the data entry people enter those values into the main base of knowledge, and the entire knowledge base becomes contaminated with little random pieces of incorrect information that is then, shaved and adapted and altered to fit the preconceived notion of what the truth is and then…. this is an important find, arclight. Thx.

  • dka

    If all fish in eastern Japan except those of Fukushima are killed for fishery, it will not be long that fish from Fukushima will thrive in numbers compared with the fish that are normal. However, because of the contamination, the fish at large of Fukushima will become deformed due to contamination(two heads or 3 tails for example), but will not be fished and start populating other regions. Deformed fish might become the only kind of fish remaining all over the east coast of Japan in 50 years from now.