Asahi: “Significant quantity” of cesium detected along West Coast of Japan — Concentrations rise as it gets deeper

Published: September 11th, 2012 at 3:48 am ET


Title: Radioactive fallout detected far from Fukushima
Source: Asahi Shimbun
Date: September 11, 2012

A significant quantity of radioactive cesium, likely from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, has turned up in subsea mud about 200 kilometers away, near the mouth of the Shinanogawa River on Japan’s northwestern coast.

Scientists said samples taken in 2011 at Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, contained concentrations of up to 460 becquerels per kilogram of dry mud


The highest concentration was 2-3 cm below the mud surface at a water depth of 30 m. That reading of 460 becquerels per kg compares to samples of over 400 becquerels around the mouth of the Arakawa river in Tokyo Bay in August 2011.

Both readings are dozens of times higher than contamination detected after past atmospheric nuclear tests.

At a depth of 20 m the maximum concentration was 318 becquerels per kg, while at 15 m it was 255 becquerels.


Published: September 11th, 2012 at 3:48 am ET


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12 comments to Asahi: “Significant quantity” of cesium detected along West Coast of Japan — Concentrations rise as it gets deeper

  • Sickputer

    This is very disconcerting especially for everyone in Japan. They find high levels of radiation 120 miles away from the accident site.

    The "official" exclusion zone is 12 miles. Do we see something terribly wrong with their arbitrary proclamation?

    37 million people in Tokyo live 140 miles away. Much of their food comes from the west coast and central Japan farms. The cancer rate is going to be highly elevated along with other biological effects like birth defects and infant mortality.

    The leaders in Japan need to acknowledge the threat and issue health warning advice and try to secure safer food and water sources. The Japanese race is in danger of extinction…actually racing towards it.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Hitting the fan, I agree. There must be someone who knows areas which are less affected. The lie is coming apart – piece by piece.

  • or-well

    Relevant details lacking.

    We're given 3 water depths, 1 mud-sample depth (2-3 centimeters).

    We could assume, but it doesn't specify if the samples were taken from the same mud-depth at each water depth.

    Were deeper mud-samples taken? If so – what results?

    Was the cesium finger-printed as being from Fukushima? It says "likely".

    Could it have been from one of the west coast reactors?

    What's the significance of finding more cesium at deeper depths of water – underwater currents? Would that implicate a west coast reactor?

    Was cesium found in increasing or decreasing amounts at greater mud depths? Would that indicate more recent or less recent deposition, and possibly implicating a west coast reactor?

    I guess we'll have to wait for the papers' release.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Same question here:

      **What's the significance of finding more cesium at deeper depths of water **

      That's what stood out to me too.

      • Sickputer

        Re: more cesium in sediment greater than 30 meters of water:

        1970s study in Lake Michigan:

        "Effects of wave action and turbulence on the bottom, especially during storms, apparently prevent large con- centrations of cesium-137 from accumulating in sediments at water depths much less than 30 m."

        SP: Many more items of interest in that 40-year-old study.

        Another observation and I am no oceanographer… The watersheds around Fukushima Prefecture have been drenched in cesium over 18 months. As the rivers empty sand, silt and sediment (with hitchhiking cesium) into the ocean at their mouth, the sediment builds up delta formations. There is a leading edge to the deltas. It may push out farther in some years depending on total watershed runoff.

        Thus with radiation the sludge at the bottom of the coastline may grow or recede. If contaminants are larger X number of meters deep one year, they may be farther the next year or may recede.

        Tokyo Bay has been a hotbed of radiation river deposits and the dumping of incinerator sludge has made the bay a toxic nightmare:

        • or-well

          re: cesium, sediments.
          Aug, 2011, only 5 months after Fuku blew.
          Cesium from deeper mud depths in deeper water may indicate releases not from Fuku, but from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, which is not far south of where the samples were taken, on the west coast.
          The "fingerprinting" of whatever is found is SO important, if it can be done in these samples, as it seems much can influence depth of deposit. There may be deposition from Fuku AND Kashi-K, maybe even from other reactors on the west coast.

          Bad alround, wherever it's from.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Every person in the world is witnessing this radiation spread. And those who don't read about it today, will tomorrow.

  • Ron

    Japan is risking an international incident to acquire more land outside of Japan. Hmm, I wonder why?

    I say let the nuke industry pay for the island of Japan. You break it you buy it.

    • Andres Arce Andres Arce

      However about those tiny (almost nonexistent) isles, Japan would be starting to burn radioactive debris as well.
      The whole thing a great farce is.

    • m a x l i

      @Ron, those islands Japan, China and Taiwan are disputing about are very, very tiny. But look at the bright side! The japanese government is doing everything it can, so that in a few years time the whole japanese population will fit onto those islands for resettlement. (Sarcasm, of course)

      Agree with your second statement: "You break it you buy it." That makes sense for the whole international nuke industry. They are all complicit in what is happening.

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    If these were the measurements AUGUST 2011, wonder what the measurements are now, over a year later??? Why has it taken a year for these results to be available??

    more info and significance on depth of mud issue

    re Tokyo bay latest test April of this year

  • Sickputer

    Yamazaki is entitled to his clam and oyster dookie theory, but it sounds a little farfetched:

    "Tokyo Bay has a large population of benthos, or organisms living in the seabed mud. Yamazaki hypothesizes that cesium sank deep because the benthos ate mud on the seabed surface and discharged excrement deeper in the mud."

    But if he is right then the benthos creatures sure will pack a hot cesium punch at the old salad bar:

    "Benthic organisms, such as sea stars, oysters, clams, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and sea anemones, play an important role as a food source for fish and humans"