Scientists: First time radioactive silver detected in ocean — Radioactivity levels in seawater are not diminishing as hoped — “Reactor site still seems to be leaking; it hasn’t shut off”

Published: February 23rd, 2012 at 3:27 pm ET


Title: ‘Harmless’ radiation found off Japanese coast
Source: Fish Info & Services (FIS)
Author: Natalia Real
Date: Feb 24, 2012

[…] When examining plankton and fish, the researchers even identified a radioactive form of silver for the first time in the open ocean. […]

“The concentration of potassium-40 was five to six times greater than all of the [elements from Fukushima] combined,” explained Professor Nicholas Fisher from Stony Brook University. “I would not hesitate eating any of the organisms we sampled.”

Moreover, the scientists established that Fukushima-related radioactivity levels in seawater are not diminishing as fast as many had hoped.

“The reactor site still seems to be leaking; it hasn’t shut off completely, and at those levels right on the coast you could still have these concentration factors that we measured that would indicate some organisms would be at levels unfit for human consumption,” [WHOI marine chemist Ken Buesseler] said. […]

Read the report here

Published: February 23rd, 2012 at 3:27 pm ET


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38 comments to Scientists: First time radioactive silver detected in ocean — Radioactivity levels in seawater are not diminishing as hoped — “Reactor site still seems to be leaking; it hasn’t shut off”

  • vivvi

    By diminish quickly, I guess he means carry away on the current and become somebody elses problem. Not like its gonna decay away and become safe overnight.


    “I would not hesitate eating any of the organisms we sampled.”

    Seems an inane statement on the part of someone who prefaced it with “The concentration of potassium-40 was five to six times greater than all of the [elements from Fukushima] combined,”.

    Is there a possibly that this was a transcript error? Or, is this guy also a whore for the NP industries?

    In either event, it's good that we're now getting reports (albeit drips-n-drabs) on Fukushima's impact on the ocean…

    • Laterlukemayb Laterlukemayb

      It's gotta be AfterShock, or it could be that he DID eat it, problem solved!

      • Laterlukemayb Laterlukemayb

        I really don't know anything about potassium-40 or it's potential to cause harm. If it is harmful then let's hope his statements are corrected or ignorant people like me would consider the seafood safe. It could be a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.

    • Sickputer

      AFS typed these pixels of light: "is this guy [Fisher] also a whore for the NP industries?"

      SP: Fisher is a tireless researcher over the years, incredible publishing dossier:

      Note he has several published articles for the IAEA including the third one from the bottom of the list now in press.

      Does this financial association mean pre-conceived ideas to see "no toxicity" as below?

      Fisher is leading the effort to study how marine life takes up radionuclides into its tissues. Because 3 months have passed and most isotopes, particularly the short-lived iodine-131 with an 8-day half-life, have decayed considerably, he doesn't expect to see any toxicity. However, there will still be detectable levels in organisms such as brown seaweed, which can store iodine at 10,000 times the concentration in the water. Such a measure might help researchers understand how the isotopes move through the food chain, even up to seafood-eating humans.

      Meanwhile, Japanese researchers continue to keep a close eye on the water close to the plant. Calculations by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) in Cherbourg have calculated that, close to the Fukushima plant, there is a risk of harm to marine life, particularly to animals born in the spring. Fisher hopes that by directly field-testing the water in the area, more precise measurements can be added to their calculations.

      *Update, 3 June: In an interview last night with ScienceInsider, expedition lead investigator Buesseler explained that in addition to the well-known isotopes iodine-131 and cesium-137, the cruise will measure the spread and bioaccumulation of rarer isotopes such as plutonium, strontium, and tritium, about which little is known. The extensive data set he expects to gather could take up to a year to analyze."

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    The source of this story is FIS. From their website:

    "Why advertise in FIS?

    FIS provides the ultimate platform for you to communicate with the global seafood marketplace. Published daily in three languages (Japanese, Spanish and English) FIS engages different cultures and dissolves boundaries.
    Our consistent, user base consists of more than 10,000 unique visitors daily spanning North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America."

    It's spin from the seafood industry (not the nuke industry), in my opinion. Same effect.


      again 'geez, nothing escapes your eye! Thanks for making 'sense' out of this crazy story…

    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      Thanks aigeezergood catch.

      How can the Actual results ever be made public? They never will in order to protect the Seafood industry. Isn't that a clear conflict of interest?

  • CaptD CaptD

    Did you notice this:
    "“The reactor site still seems to be leaking; it hasn’t shut off completely,"

    Too bad the author did not ask about this SHUTTING OFF statement;
    … as it is, this is just one more "fluff" Fukushima news release!

    • or-well

      Head-shakingly stupid that doesn't even display a laymans' understanding of how a reactor works, or deliberately dumbed down to give a false soothing impression contrary to the fact that reactor radioactivity is never "off", but only contained or uncontained and always dangerous.

  • arclight arclight

    the chinese found this in august..

    "According to the statement, the levels of strontium-90, a radioactive isotope of strontium, found in squids are 29 times higher than the average background level of samples taken from China’s coastal waters. […]

    The samples were also found to contain argentum-110m [radioactive silver] and cesium-134, which are normally difficult to detect in biological samples from China’s coastal waters, the statement said."

    "A first batch of water samples collected from the sea to the east of Fukushima was found to contain radioactive cesium 137, cesium 134 and strontium 90."

    "The State Oceanic Administration said the marine organisms in the places that are being monitored have been contaminated to different extents. Those that live near the surface are at a greater risk of being affected.

    Cesium-137 and strontium-90 both have half-lives of about 30 years, making it more likely they will eventually enter the food chain and affect the health of consumers, the environmental protection department said.

    Published on Sunday, September 11, 2011 by The Japan Times Effect of Contaminated Soil on Food Chain Sparks Fears
    Cesium absorption through roots may have long-term effect on farming
    by Mizuho Aoki

    “..Other foods, such as marine produce, won’t be as easy to handle, experts say. After the Chernobyl accident, for example, the radioactive contamination of fish peaked between 6 to 12 months after the disaster.

    The Fisheries Agency, meanwhile, has asked nine prefectures on the Pacific coast to increase their sampling rates to prevent contaminated fish from landing in supermarkets.”

    • Laterlukemayb Laterlukemayb

      @arc, "Even though the fisheries have been notified to increase sampling rates" it states we know that the levels in the samples will be manipulated in the favor of the fisheries. This is unfortunately commerce works int he 21st century.
      Japan government must consider it's country's economy over the safety of the consumer. The U.S. will more than likely be in agreement as well. They both know that the majority of U.S. consumers are not going to shop with a Geiger counter clipped to their waste.


      nice post arclight…

      • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

        Also, the links on your enenews and chinese sites still have the info. Commondreams link doesn't work.
        More convinced everyday US is censoring any Fuku info as fast as it gets out.

    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      Thans arclight.

      So an outright lie that the results will not be available for a year.

      "The extensive data set he expects to gather could take up to a year to analyze."

      ~China shows that they had that info at least as early as August.~

      The tests they will report a year from now will be taken… from the water close to a year from now. So that they can say they are not high. If China is capable then so are they. Heck send them to China's labs. 😛

    • shockwave shockwave

      chinese are not human in their minds. they are aliens & predators.
      what the chinese discovered is meaningless to those "scientists"

  • or-well

    I'm Professor Botnsold and
    here's my new plan:
    I'm going to eat snow!
    Stick my tongue in the rain!
    Stuff medallions of wild boar
    with fish and sheeps' brain!
    Make heavy cream sauce
    with wild mushrooms and spinach!
    Drink Japanese tea with
    a strawberry danish and
    then maybe learn Finnish!
    (well not that, I'm
    no glutton for punishment,
    all I really want is
    to find some safe nourishment.)
    I'll eat chocolate haggis
    with worm-casting cheese,
    Ill eat sushi rolls and
    wrap my head in hot towels
    so they're handy when I
    can't help loosing my bowels!
    I'll wear glowing fabric
    made of spider silk
    when I visit the nuke plant
    and say "we need releases-
    especially tritium.
    I know you do it. You've
    done the admitium!
    My water's too light –
    I can't keep it down.
    I throw up all night but
    my lawyers in town so
    buy me some concrete blocks
    made in Japan and
    build me a bunker
    so I can invite
    Tyler Durden and buddies
    over for fights.
    This shilling for Nuclears'
    driven me nuts,
    too bad I'm too chickenshit
    to spill my guts.

    • or-well

      For those new to this site or the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster I should explain:
      Every food mentioned in the rhyme above is a potential source of radioactive contamination.
      The references to vomiting, diarrhea and the "Professors" mental condition are also symptoms of radiation exposure.
      Also, some construction materials in Japan may have concentrated radioactive ash in them from incineration of radioactive debris, or have been contaminated by radioactive fallout.

      • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

        Excellent or-well~!~

        LOL CB

        Well I wonder how many *x-rays I had today, I was totally drenched today. On the East Coast with with a southeast wind in my face. I probably didn't get much, & too late anyway. But ohh ya I was thinking about it.

    • CB CB

      LOL, This is what popped in my head when I read "I'll wear glowing fabric made of spider silk when I visit the nuke plant
      and say"


    February 23, 2011

    Dear Friends,
    Two years ago, President Obama personally announced approval of a conditional taxpayer loan for new nuclear reactors in Georgia. Much has happened in those two years that make this conditional loan questionable at best, and more likely an $8 Billion+ loss to taxpayers. Indeed, two years later, President Obama's new budget asks for no new loan money for nuclear reactors–a dramatic shift from the past and one that reflects the reality of 2012. The DOE should now rescind this conditional loan for new reactors in Georgia, before the losses pile up.



  • not astonishing
    when thinking of the story as: the reactors are already washed out by seawater, alpha-emission under a few meters of water are very hard to detect.
    what makes trouble on land is the leftover debris, the real deal is all the insoluble mox mixed with seasand slowly distributing underwater (and a little faster eroding to always finer particles due to decay and water)
    cant think of enenews going on like this for 5 years, always when one thinks wow a positive message soon 100 new messages turn up telling some new horror or prolonging old horrors….

  • farawayfan farawayfan

    The nuclear plant hasn't completely shut down because they can never shut down. That's the problem. This guy is a mega-shill.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      It is a woman. Her beat is "seafood world". She shills for the seafood industry and is probably, ahem, out of her depth with a nuke story.

      She says of herself:

      "News writer: I craft articles about the fishing and aquaculture industries every weekday at Fish Information & Services"


      "My mission is to help mindful companies and people do their part to make the world a better place by delivering their messages effectively and compellingly. I make sure the lovely people I work with (I dislike the impersonal term “clients”) are happy with the results. You’ll be able to reach me with ease and speed and get two free revisions with each assignment — although this is rarely necessary."

  • Laterlukemayb Laterlukemayb

    It is my opinion that any monitoring of radioactive levels in fish or other potential seafood off the coast of Japan is NOT for the safety or benefit of consumers. I believe it is to get a better idea of what to expect in the future in ways of effects to those that consume these products and how far out the first effects will show up. This will allow them to better plan for damage control when disease and cancers show up. I say this in light of legislation signed into law by Clinton that continues and avoids any disruption of commerce with Japan

    • Laterlukemayb Laterlukemayb

      Correction, no legislation was signed, it was the supportive remarks she made about trade when visiting last March. It could be that future trade deals have been signed with U.S. businesses since then as I'm sure there have been.

  • i mean what is the best way to deal with radioactive fuel in normal times?
    hold it under water for some years and it is not so evil.
    what will a panicked engineer do in face of 4 – 6 possible reactor furies in front of him and the open ocean to the side?

  • Alice Alice

    What I've concluded is that our species as a whole (present company excepted) is very good at passing the buck.

    Hey all you 'big brains'! Take the worst case scenario and work from there. 'Hope' shouldn't be a part of the scientific lexicon.

    • Laterlukemayb Laterlukemayb

      We do tend to be on the negative don't we Alice. I think it is due mostly from being in a position of powerlessness with the situation and can we really trust those we have voted to rule over us with solving the problem in a truthful transparent manner.

    • Anthony Anthony

      That is my response too.

  • dear jones

    “The concentration of potassium-40 was five to six times greater than all of the [elements from Fukushima] combined,” explained Professor Nicholas Fisher from Stony Brook University. “I would not hesitate eating any of the organisms we sampled.”

    But they believe CO2 which is only 0.033 percent of Air and can create the global Warming. Then promote clear safe Nuclear Power.

    Do you believe those Scientists ????

  • arclight arclight

    China conducts second radiation monitor in Pacific OceanBy Yu Jianbin (People’s Daily Overseas Edition)17:19, December 29, 2011 Edited and translated by People’s Daily Online

    “A marine monitoring team dispatched by China’s State Oceanic Administration accomplished the mission of monitoring radiation in the western Pacific Ocean for the second time, and returned to Xiamen on Dec. 27 aboard the Xiangyanghong 09 scientific exploration ship.

    The monitoring team sailed about 6,100 nautical miles in 30 days, and monitored radiation in the air over and water in the western Pacific Ocean as well as radiation-sensitive sea creatures, chemistry and dynamic environments.”

    “This is the second time that China has monitored radiation in international waters in the western Pacific Ocean.”