Lead scientist surprised by Japan data: Fukushima plant still leaking radiation into ocean?

Published: July 19th, 2012 at 12:38 pm ET


Title: Post-Fukushima, Japan’s irradiated fish worry B.C. experts
Source: Vancouver Free Press
Author: Alex Roslin
Date: July 19, 2012


The numbers show that far from dissipating with time, as government officials and scientists in Canada and elsewhere claimed they would, levels of radiation from Fukushima have stayed stubbornly high in fish. In June 2012, the average contaminated fish catch had 65 becquerels of cesium per kilo. That’s much higher than the average of five Bq/kg found in the days after the accident back in March 2011, before cesium from Fukushima had spread widely through the region’s food chain.

In some species, radiation levels are actually higher this year than last.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency […] spokesperson Lisa Gauthier refused to make someone available to answer questions on fish monitoring.


Physician Tim Takaro

Burnaby MD Tim Takaro says he now avoids eating fish from the vicinity of Japan. “I would find another source for fish if I thought it was from that area,” said Takaro, an associate professor in Simon Fraser University’s faculty of health sciences.

“There are way too many questions and not enough answers to say everything is fine,” Takaro said in a phone interview.

Physician Erica Frank

A Canada Research Chair in UBC’s faculty of medicine and a past president of the Nobel Prize–winning U.S. group Physicians for Social Responsibility, another signatory of the statement—said she also avoids eating fish from Japan.

“I think it’s important to ask purveyors of Pacific food where it comes from,” she said.


It all leaves Vancouver doctor Frank bewildered by the government response here.

“It struck me as such a poor public-health decision not to monitor. This requires urgent action, but it just doesn’t seem to register on anyone’s radar,” she said.

Frank is now writing a book about the struggle to get authorities to monitor fish after Fukushima. She said she thinks of it as a murder mystery. “There are no bodies, but as a specialist in preventive medicine, I worry about increased mortality from the fish,” she said.

Stony Brook University’s Nicholas Fisher

Nicholas Fisher is one of the few U.S. scientists studying Fukushima’s impacts on migratory fish in the Pacific.

Fisher said he was surprised when told about the high cesium levels in the Japanese fisheries data. It makes him leery of eating fish from Japanese waters, he said.

“Those are high numbers. It would give me pause if I were eating fish in Japan.…Imported fish are also a concern,” said Fisher, a marine-sciences professor at New York’s Stony Brook University. Fisher added in a phone interview that the persistently high cesium numbers may be a sign that the Fukushima plant is still leaking radiation into the ocean.

Read some of Fisher’s more noteworthy statements here:

  • [intlink id=”strange-8-months-later-plutonium-test-results-pending-researcher-compares-fukushima-radiation-potassium-nuclear-connected-university” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”forbes-radiation-in-california-bluefin-tuna-may-be-a-blessing-lead-scientist-my-first-thought-was-this-will-do-more-for-conservation-of-this-animal-than-nearly-anything-else-could” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
Published: July 19th, 2012 at 12:38 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Scientist back from Japan: I’ve seen data showing highest radioactivity levels in ocean that have been observed recently — NHK: Nuclear waste may be leaking “directly from buildings” not only going into groundwater via tunnels (VIDEOS) January 28, 2014
  2. CNN: Scientists surprised by high levels of radioactive silver in fish off Japan coast February 22, 2012
  3. Japan Gov’t Data: 65% of marine life test positive for cesium in Nov. — Average catch exceeds new radiation limits @ 111 Bq/kg January 15, 2012
  4. Gov’ts refuse to provide funds to research Fukushima effects — “Virtually zero monitoring” — “Disconcerting how big of an event Fukushima was and how little data are out there” January 14, 2012
  5. Official: “Unfortunately, the fuel itself is exposed” at Fukushima — Scientist: Our tests show contamination isn’t going away… reactors are leaking out into ocean… there’s still a problem — PBS: Plume of water tainted with radiation is reaching to other side of Pacific (VIDEO) August 7, 2014

66 comments to Lead scientist surprised by Japan data: Fukushima plant still leaking radiation into ocean?

  • WHAT?!? You mean to tell me Fukup is still dumping insanely contaminated corium-contact water straight to the ocean?!?

    DUH. Never once in 16 months has there ever been a claim or confirmation that they're not leaking/dumping straight to the ocean. Because they're still pouring thousands of gallons a day down the corium blow-holes, and a good portion of that (they ran out of storage tanks many months ago) goes straight on out. It will continue to go straight on out until they stop pouring water down the blow-holes. At which point we may expect the corium itself to go straight on out to the sea.

    • omniversling

      R3 explosion launched fuel pellets and fragments of, up to 2km inland. Assume that the blast vector also launched a comparable amount into the ocean. Still there and radiating, plus as JoyB points out, there is apparently still water being pumped into the 'blowholes' (scarily appropriate image JoyB). An Enenewser made the astute comment a couple of weeks ago that the tide may be ingressing fault cracks to where the coriums are, causing all the much of the clouding and steaming that Nuckelchen and ChasAha are posting clips of..

      Another post today also of TEPKILL's plan to line the seabed with concrete…like, ahh, what's the half life of Pu? 24,000 years..some lucky company formed in the wake of 'disaster capitalism's finest example so far' will get a nice longterm contract re-concreting every 10-15 years…

  • He must not read ENENEWS.

    • I don't get the feeling these people read – or know – much of anything at all. Just more of the Cant-Be-Bothered to notice what's going on all around them in real time, forgot all about Fukushima the very day it happened.

      Honestly. If a person bothered to at least be aware through the first three months or so, they would have known all along the Greatest Human-Caused Ocean Pollution Event in history is still ongoing 24-7. I can't believe they LET people this clueless claim the title of "scientist."

      • Good point Joy. People in here are more the scientist than they are.

        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          They work for a paycheck. Evil is quite banal, actually. There aren't red-eyed, bloodthirsty monsters doing all this. There are business men at the top that want to make money, regardless of who gets hurt. They tell their subordinates what to do, whether legal or not, and they have a choice – do it, or lose their jobs and someone else will do it. So, with a wife, kids, a mortgage, they do what they're told. No one gets large sums of money, they just get to keep their jobs. Evil is quite simple, really.

          And once they do something wrong the first time, it just gets easier and easier to do it. That's why there are so few whistleblowers – they lose too much. Well, the governments tend to hound them and ruin their lives, too, so there is much less incentive to report anything.

          And so on and on it goes. And we end up with an ELE in slow motion, like what we have here.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        I think it is difficult for some people to wrap their heads around the enormity of this nuclear catastrophe and we are in unchartered waters, so to speak, thus I don't think anyone knows exactly what is going to happen.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          moonshellblue, it's hard for some of us to wrap our heads around it even if we aren't in denial …. I'm one of those people. For some odd reason, the shock of discovery never seems to wear off. I'm not sure how much of my head is left to wrap around all of this. It feels pretty stretched.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Double DUH.

  • I can't decide which is worse… the lameness of the scientists, or Tepco's three stooges act in Fuku.

    • GeoHarvey

      I would love to see it as a film. "Faust Meets the Three Stooges"
      No, they don't read ENENEWS. They probably worry such a site would contaminate their minds. So they avoid it and take the radioactive cesium instead. Sad.

  • Max1 Max1

    Dear scientists,
    Bioaccumulation… Stop acting surprised that your sixth grade science biology class teacher was right.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      Yes, it's a bummer. When I read the article about plankton being contaminated…….Ouch

  • Max1 Max1

    "In some species, radiation levels are actually higher this year than last."

    And next year… Odds are double or triple these levels.

    • Max1 Max1

      "spokesperson Lisa Gauthier refused to make someone available to answer questions on fish monitoring."

      … Maintaining the obstruction and denial as long as possible, eh?
      What could she be concealIng/hiding/protecting… Truth?

      • Ignoring = Blackout

        1. Refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally
        2. FAIL to consider (something significant)

      • Well, goodness! We surely wouldn't want the truth – about anything – to somehow 'leak' out to the people who pay the bills for keeping truths secret, would we?

        The National Security Complex and You

        • Max1 Max1

          You know in America what Obama does to whistleblowers…
          … Tells them they're welcome to shed light on wrongdoing and then get arrested.

          • Obama didn't invent this crap, I assure you. He just hasn't attempted to dismantle it. Which, to be quite honest, he most probably isn't allowed to even contemplate.

            Bear in mind that I and mine were "whistleblowers" way, way back in '79. Jimmy Carter was no better. Then Ronnie RayGun arranged a win, and next thing we knew we were getting shot at. Not all of us lived to tell the tale, you know…

            Things have just grown like The Blob since Bush The Junior seized his amazing opportunity to rearrange the entire government, creating the biggest, nastiest, most shamelessly overt National Security State the world has ever seen. Oh… and DHS.

            [waives to assigned watchers. Have a nice day, y'all!]

            • johnnyo

              seized amazing opportunity=followed script exactly as written by those that created the "opportunity"

              not to get too OT, but thanks again Joy, for putting up my question in OT forum. Hope u had a chance to read my responses. (this was all around 7/10 or so for those interested)

              No truth, no justice

              • Heh. Well, it's not like Junior Shrub was smart enough to do anything he wasn't told to do. But I hear he was a pretty good college cheerleader back in his Frat-Boy daze…

                I'll go find them, johnnyo. Thanks.

            • Time Is Short Time Is Short

              Don't worry, JoyB. Your 'watchers' lungs are full of plutonium and uranium, too. And so is their children.

              They know they are working for the same evil that is killing them and their families. I hope the paycheck is worth it.


                difference is, they know there's nothing left out here to support their families, so they'll continue betraying their nation, fellow citizens and constitutional for that paycheck and pension package. They worse than their masters, because unlike their masters, they come from the ranks of the those they betray…

      • richard richard

        If they are guberment employees on your taxes, how can they refuse to answer?

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Damn, 'scientists' hate to talk about 'exponential growth'. Especially in the context of 'bioaccumulation'.

      They know what's up. This is first year high school bioscience.

      They've sold their souls for their paycheck. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • I'm not 'surprised' that what is murder of innocent life gets labeled 'increased mortality'.

    Their answers/excuses will continue to be…
    "I didn't know"
    "There was no data"
    "The data was not accurate"
    "They lied"

    …and finally,
    "It is regrettable" 🙁

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    "Persistently high cesium numbers may be a sign that the Fukushima plant is still leaking radiation into the ocean". ("Fisher" is such a great name for a marine biologist, don't you think?)

    Dr. Fisher, I have some news for you. The cesium (plus a boatload of other radioactive isotopes) is not leaking from the Fuku NPPs so much as flowing around the 3 nuke coriums buried deep in the bedrock under Fuku Buildings1,2,&3. Ground water is picking up radiation as it flows around these three bus-sized coriums. The ground water then flows right into the Pacific Ocean. This highly radioactive water will soon contaminate the entire Pacific Ocean, and, in time, all the oceans of earth.

    Who cares? A little radiation in the ocean is bioaccumulated by plankon at a higher concentration than that of the surrounding ocean. The little fish and shrimp who eat the plankton further concentrate the radiation. Tuna, salmon, and other preditory ocean fish bioaccumulate even higher doses of radioactivity. To you, these top preditor fish are SEAFOOD. You get an internal dose of highly concentrated radiation every time you eat contaminated Pacific Ocean seafood. Bon appetit!

    • arclight arclight

      hi philip

      concerning cesium isotopes its worth noting this too…

      Comments (analyzed urine from March to June 2012)

      "..The French NGO ACRO is still facing a large demand of urine testing from Japan and thus continues its assistance. Here are 59 new results.
      All results of analyzes on children in Tokyo and its suburbs show no contamination, except for a child in the city of Matsudo, Chiba pref..

      Not so far from the Fukushima NPP, there are still children with contaminated urine, more than a year after the massive discharges into the environment. This is particularly the case in the province of Fukushima, but also in the neighbouring prefectures of Miyagi and Tochigi. These contaminations are low, but persist over time.

      At Kurihara, Miyagi prefecture, they are all children of farmers who eat farm products. Contamination levels of the urine are similar ranging from 1.68 to 2.5 Bq / l for both caesium.

      For 5 people, it was a follow up. In all cases, there is a decrease in contamination, which shows the merit of this kind of test that helps people to be careful…"

      heres the data


    • HoTaters HoTaters

      phreatic underground nuke explosions

  • arclight arclight

    Fun in the Sun at Fukushima 7.19.2012

    Published on Jul 19, 2012 by ichicax4

    A one minute clip to celebrate the insanity of this decision. This beach is 40 km south of the Fukushima plant.


  • jec jec

    Dont forget the LONG BLACK cylinders dropped into the water from the reactors last summer and fall. Oh..and the various chunks of fuel cells blown out all over..and seen clearly as red green and purple blobs in the waters around Fukushima 1 in early satellite images. No images have been seen since then to my knowledge.

    So Triple DUH for any scientist who blindly believes –"no immediate danger to the public"– someone needs to define to them "danger" and "immediate". YES, the radiation is STILL going into the OCEAN!

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Governments won't open dialog about this catastrophe. It's huge, and not going away.

  • arclight arclight

    dont forget the 2 deep sea nuclear/toxic waste dumps 200 km off the coast at the bottom of the continental ridges.. is anyone even trying to see the damage to these as lots of nearby earthquakes could have ruptured the containers for these.. i sent greenpeace an email commenting on the fact that they seem only aware of the other 2 waste dumps to the west of honshu..

    this is anther source of contamination.. did the usa bury old reactors there too??

    the 2 dumps east of the island had ALOT of close strikes over the past year.. they buried the stuff close to the fault….

    so there could be more than the daichi isotopes..
    chemicals, metals biologic stuff 🙁

    area A2 on this pdf

    Fig 1-1-22 wastes dumping areas in the seas around japan

    the diagram/map is nearly half way down the page..


    the whole report discusses profit agianst health..

    also talks about land subsidence around japan with special reference to the miyagi prefecture! caused by industry over using the local aquifer that caused land subsidence..

    wonder how thats going with possible coriums draining the aquifer?

    the A2 dump should be 200 km and the earthquakes are hitting between 170 to 180 km.. basically right on the rift..

    • arclight arclight

      and theres this fro july 2011

      Chemical Aftermath: Contamination and Cleanup Following the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

      map of areas effected north of diachi (couldnt find a whole japan map!)


      from this article

      "…That situation had begun to change by June. A supplemental disaster budget approved May 2 for the Ministry of the Environment included ¥400 million (about US$5 million) for environmental monitoring aimed at assessing contamination from asbestos and hazardous materials leaked from factories and other sources.."


      wonder what the results of those tests were.. and they got a budget quicker than the nuclear monitoring…??

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Well, there's a whole new twist to this story. A significant amount of earthquakes close to known deep sea nuclear waste dumps.

      What is the chance all of it got corroded, melted together and is fissioning its' way down into the ocean fault lines there?

      Who is responsible for monitoring this crap?

      Just when you though it couldn't get worse . . .

      Good catch, arclight.

      • arclight arclight

        hi tis
        the tuna have been known to forage that deep i believe, 🙁

        "..Seamounts harbour abundant populations of seabed animals and fish compared to surrounding deep-sea habitats. This is thought to result from processes such as trapping of plankton…"

        "..Canyons are subject to vigorous currents and are often the site of increased biological activity. This manifests as very abundant populations of a limited number of species and the occurrence of large marine predators such as whales. Trenches are dominated by a low diversity of species, which tend to be endemic to a single trench or group of trenches (Vinogradova, 1997). These may occur at a higher density than similar animals from the surrounding deep sea…"

        "..Other activities that currently or are likely to impact the deep oceans include the extraction of oil, gas, methane hydrates and mining of polymetallic sulphides (around vents) or manganese nodules (abyssal deep-sea). The oceans are already contaminated with a range of human wastes, especially including clinker, coal and plastics discarded or lost from ships but also munitions and even nuclear waste…"


        there are seamonuts and canyons nearby.. they might have one of the dumps in a small canyon i thought as i compared it on google earth.. i overlaid the rough drawing of the dumps in the report..

        and this


      • arclight arclight

        the IAEA got control the ocean testing toward the end of last year.. the deal with the chinese was that they supply the parts for reactors and the IAEA gets to play..and are only looking for cesiums.. thats if they are actually looking?

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Yes, Arc. There was an agreement between the U.S. and Japan. Japan agreed to take the U.S.'s nuclear waste. Not sure if that was old nuke plant waste, or what …. Posted here a long time ago, does anyone know the citation for that?

      • arclight arclight

        hi ho tater
        yes there is an agreement its just been automatically updated i think on the 10 july 2012

        joint co-operation between usa and japan

        article 2

        "…experience of siteing facilities.."

        article 6

        exchange of information

        "…transparency…" "…public…"

        article 9 explains the censorship in the usa etc

        the date inof the document is from 2012 but the date looks changed..

        that means the 5 year perios was up again this year 0n the 10th july..

        wonder if they automaticlly extended it??


  • Max1 Max1

    I find the lack of monitoring of food safety telling of government collusion to coverup wrongdoing and potential catastrophic effects to the human population.

    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

      We know they know & I see that fact as even greater evil. The salaries they receive from taxpayers allows them to protect themselves & their own using taxpayer funded equipment. There is such a large number of employees running this monitoring equipment worldwide. But they never Speakout…

      I want to say Thank You to ALL the EneNews Whistle-blowers. 🙂

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    In other news, leading Japanese Scientists and Nuclear Engineers were suprised to find out today that Japan is actualy an island nation. To a man and women most had never been to the coast and thought they were located next to a really big lake. When asked how they could not have known, one scientists was overheard saying, 'I like Monkeys!'…..

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    There is a lot of data in the article – I hope people read more than the teasers. For example:

    "Canada’s ceiling for radiation is set at a level that allows 5,000 to 8,000 cancers per million people over a 70-year lifetime of exposure, according to Health Canada’s models and those of a landmark 2006 U.S. National Academy of Sciences report on cancer risk from radiation. (About half of the cancers would be fatal.)

    Health Canada’s ceilings for chemical carcinogens are generally set at levels that cause a maximum of one to 10 lifetime cancers per million people.

    Authorities in Canada dismiss the calls for monitoring.

    “Not involved, not involved,” said Tom Kosatsky, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s acting medical director of environmental health services, when asked about monitoring of radiation in Pacific fish.

    “It’s a federal responsibility,” he said in a phone interview."

    • arclight arclight

      hi aig
      thought i would add this for posterity

      "..But the record for most cesium in all the fish catches was handily set by the landlocked masu salmon (native to the Western Pacific) that registered 18,700 Bq/kg in March.

      Statistics Canada data shows Japan exported $37,000 worth of “Pacific, Atlantic, and Danube salmon” to Canada in the first four months of 2012…"


  • horndoggie horndoggie

    I find the lack of monitoring of food safety telling of government collusion to cover up wrongdoing and potential catastrophic effects to the human population."

    ain't that the truth..


    You mean to tell me the contamination's increasing?! To quote JoyB, "I'm shocked… SHOCKED, I tell you…"

  • gotnuttin2lose

    At the high risk of sounding like a total idiot (hence, my namesake)… Is it possible to bore down near the corium, use jet spray (boric acid/liqid nitrogen) AND vacuum technology to siphon the most radio-active matter nearer to bedrock or away from larger water tables?. I am thinking in terms of triangulation readings to pin point the hottest nasties. Then boring wells (if there be pre-existing dry wells all the better) on each opposing side of the blob matter. The east-side wells (closest to the ocean) would jet spray the blob matter toward the west wells' rigs in charge of vacuum pulling it toward them. Pretty far fetched?
    Sister Mary Elephant told me when I was a child, that, "the only stupid question was the one never asked".
    OK fellas, have fun with this one, but don't beat me up too bad!

  • gotnuttin2lose

    In response to my own question. Too far fetched. Knowing nothing about corium, I asked some geeks about how to move it, block it, entomb it, etc. All said it was so hot that it would just turn any thing it touched into a glassy airborn confetti. As MC Hammer sang it: "Can't Touch This!". Is there a sound frequency it responses to?
    Could it be pushed or at least broken up with some sort of sound pulse technology?. I used to play Jimmy Hendrix at full volume to rid cockroaches from my Apt in Japan. The acoustics of "Voo Doo Child" drove 'em nuts.

  • gotnuttin2lose

    Also drove my kind Japanese neighbors nutz too.

  • Sickputer

    "Stony Brook University's Fisher added in a phone interview that the persistently high cesium numbers may be a sign that the Fukushima plant is still leaking radiation into the ocean."

    SP: MAY be still leaking? Nicky, Nicky, you know better. I have seen your long resume of radiological research.

    Just say it doc…you know without a doubt the Fukushima Daiichi plant is GUSHING millions of gallons of highly irradiated water every day into the Pacific Ocean. You know the score.

    It's called feed and bleed and the Japanese on site have no choice except to keep pouring tons of fresh water (the feed) every day into the four dangerous ruined reactor buildings. If they don't the units will re-fission and the entire plant will be lost with disastrous consequences for the world.

    The bleed is the loss of that daily water influx as the contaminated water flows from underground fissures in the subsoil directly into the Pacific Ocean. Much of the poison is ingested by fish and ocean mammals of all species. Some of the ocean wildlife migrate on a yearly basis to Japan, notably tuna and salmon. As long-lived species survive man's dinner plates they will return to Japan for another dose of poison.

    Studies in the 1950s showed radioactive cesium water will pass through the skin membranes of fish while they are swimming in contaminated waters. They pick up more by eating smaller non-migratory species that are highly contaminated because of 500 days of exposure.


  • Sickputer

    Cont.. So the fish are not thinking happy thoughts (Yamashita, we never tire of laughing at your insane radiation illness theiry) and the cesium lodges in their muscles. Most don't die. Just like the boars in Germany they continue to be carriers of poison and bioaccumulate more from the radiation in the ocean.

    So over the years the tuna (which can live 15 years) will get more and more dangerous to eat. Other species will be dangerous as well. The fish on your dinner plate will look and smell fine. No oily taste, no clue to tell you the radiation is insude waiting to attach to your muscles, your heart muscles and beginning blowing up your DNA structure with never ending tiny bursts of radioactive disintegrations.

    You will never notice you are infected until it builds to a pain-wracked fatal heart attack or perhaps searing bone pain from strontium-induced cancer or the agony of plutonium-induced lung cancer.

    The perfect murder weapon, virtually untraceable, and to borrow from the CIA, radiation sickness has a bullet-proof plausible deniabilty factor.

    There are many other industrial pollutants to blame for pollution deaths, but radiation is an insidious killer that tops them all because of its rapid dispersion by land, sea, and air all across the world in just a few weeks. It is the slower-acting version of a global thermonuclear war. Perhaps worse, because everyone will die fairly slowly compared to an ELE nuclear winter.