After Fukushima, fish tales, Montreal Gazette by Alex Roslin, Jan. 13, 2012 [Emphasis Added]:
And evidence has emerged that the impacts of the disaster on the Pacific Ocean are worse than expected. [...]
In November, 65 per cent of the catches tested positive for cesium (a radioactive material created by nuclear reactors), according to a Gazette analysis of data on the [Japan] fisheries agency’s website. [...]
In July, cesium levels stopped declining and remained stuck at 10,000 times above pre-accident levels.
It meant the ocean wasn’t diluting the radiation as expected. If it had been, cesium levels would have kept falling. The finding suggested radiation was still being released into the ocean long after the accident in March, [oceanographer Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the non-profit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass] said in an interview.
“It implies the groundwater is contaminated or the facility is still leaking radiation.”
Japan Gov’t Data Also Shows Radiation Levels NOT Declining
Overall, one in five of the 1,100 catches tested in November exceeded the new ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilogram. [...]
The Japanese fisheries data seems to support this conclusion. Far from declining, contamination levels in some species were flat or even rose last fall, including species that Japan exports to Canada like skipjack tuna, cod, sole and eel.
In November, the average Japanese catch had 111 becquerels of cesium per kilogram – above the new radiation ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilo that Japan has announced it will implement for food this spring
[...] an increase from the October average of 78 becquerels per kilo [42% increase from Oct. - Nov.].
Such persistently elevated levels of radiation warrant more monitoring and research, Fisher [Nicholas Fisher, a marine sciences professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook] said. “It’s not something we can easily dismiss.”
Continuing radiation leaks from Fukushima could be to blame, he said. Another culprit, he said, may be a phenomenon called biomagnification – the tendency for radiation concentrations to increase in species that are farther up the food chain.
h/t Pacific, xdrfox
Published: January 15th, 2012 at 12:08 pm ET