Nuclear Expert: ‘It is not advisable to eat bluefin tuna’ — Fukushima radiation deposited over 600,000 sq. miles of Pacific — Cesium crosses placental barrier of animals

Published: June 1st, 2012 at 12:10 pm ET


Nuclear Tuna and NPR’s Trivialization
Institute for Policy Studies Blog
by Robert Alvarez
May 31, 2012

NPR shouldn’t trivialize the risk of radioactive tuna from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Caption: It is not advisable to eat Bluefin Tuna.

Yesterday, National Public Radio (NPR) ran a story asserting that cesium-137 from the Fukushima nuclear accident found in Bluefish tuna on the west coast of the U.S. is harmless.


Radiation from Fukushima spread far and wide. Like American hydrogen bomb testing, the Fukushima nuclear accident deposited cesium-137 over 600,000 square-miles of the Pacific, as well as the Northern Hemisphere and Europe. With a half-life of 30 years, cesium-137 is taken up in the meat of the tuna as if it were potassium, indicating that the metabolism holds on to it.


In 2001, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry noted that “…concentrations of cesium within muscle tissue are somewhat higher than the whole-body average. Cesium has been shown to cross the placental barrier of animals…”


Robert Alvarez, an Institute for Policy Studies senior scholar, served as senior policy adviser to the Energy Department’s secretary and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999.

h/t Anonymous tip

Published: June 1st, 2012 at 12:10 pm ET


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  2. *4-hour Fukushima Special* Gundersen: This basically means that every bluefin tuna in Pacific now contaminated with Fukushima cesium (AUDIO) June 10, 2012
  3. PBS Reporter Miles O’Brien: “No one likes to see ocean filled with cesium and strontium and so forth” — It’s arriving on West Coast of U.S. as we speak — “Nobody likes the idea of eating cesium from Fukushima” — “Tainted water dumped into Pacific as we speak” (AUDIO) April 25, 2014
  4. IAEA expert predicts radioactive cesium will be carried across Pacific to West Coast of U.S. and Canada in one or two years May 5, 2011
  5. Report: Study warns Fukushima contamination “is becoming more concentrated as it crosses Pacific Ocean, rather than dispersing” — “It’s making a beeline for U.S. West Coast” — “Scientists causing panic in public” September 4, 2013

44 comments to Nuclear Expert: ‘It is not advisable to eat bluefin tuna’ — Fukushima radiation deposited over 600,000 sq. miles of Pacific — Cesium crosses placental barrier of animals


    by Robert Alvarez
    [Published on Friday, June 1, 2012 by Institute for Policy Studies Blog
    Nuclear Tuna and NPR's Trivialization
    NPR shouldn't trivialize the risk of radioactive tuna from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.]

    "Yesterday, National Public Radio (NPR) ran a story asserting that cesium-137 from the Fukushima nuclear accident found in Bluefish tuna on the west coast of the U.S. is harmless.
    It is not advisable to eat Bluefin Tuna. (Photo by tokyofoodcast)

    It's not harmless. The Fukushima nuclear accident released about as much cesium-137 as a thermonuclear weapon with the explosive force of 11 million tons of TNT."

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "Cesium has been shown to cross the placental barrier of animals…”

    That includes us, and every other living thing. Remember, it kills the kids first – 14,000 in the first 14 weeks:

    That's an average of 1,000 per week. The Fuku emission levels have only increased, with bio-accumulation having over a year to manifest, so we're looking at 378 weeks x 1,000 deaths a week, since 3/11, for a total of 378,000 deaths from Fuku radiation, mostly children.

    A rough estimation, but close enough, and though they talk about cesium, what about the plutonium and uranium spread around the globe? What are the death rates in Canada? Extrapolate their research protocols to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. Less in Europe, Russia and China, but combined? Not to mention Japan.

    We are now killing off the Northern Hemisphere's children at a horrendous rate. Right now 365,000 a year, and growing.

    Somebody should point out to NPR that their children are dying, too.

    • vaporlock vaporlock

      To answer what about Canada… Where I am up north, the hospitals are full. Tumors, cancers, miscarriages and the list goes on. My wife died from a form of leukemia they have only seen in 3 other Caucasians. It ate her natural killer cells. Healthy to dead in 5 months. I have been recording the radiation level since fuku let go. Currently the readings fluctuate between 0.08uSv/h and 0.58uSv/h daily. This low compared to last year up here. My optimism of this planet surviving a lot longer is waning.

      • Vaperlock

        I am terribly sorry about the loss of your wife.

        I am sorry.

        • vaporlock vaporlock

          Thank you. The saddest part is, she wasn't a sheeple. She was the type to kick some butt if she thought someone was harming children, elderly, or the environment. She had no tolerance for self absorbed greedy people and deceitful government. And when she got in your face, you knew it πŸ˜‰

          • many moons

            he sounds like a great person…I admire that type and I only wish more people could aspire to that way of thinking.

          • lilclover

            Sounds like my kind of gal. I'm so sorry for your loss, Vaporlock.

          • nohobear nohobear

            I'm also sorry for your loss. May her fighter's spirit live on and inspire all of us to fight the good fight.

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        I, too, am sorry about your wife. May she have a special place in Heaven for the work she's done.

        May G-d have mercy on us all.

        Well, not some, I'm not very good in that department. We know who.

      • What-About-The-Kids

        I am so sorry to hear about your loss, Vaporlock. Your wife sounded like an amazing woman. I lost my mother two months ago after succumbing to failing health due to her stroke of June, 2011, which I attribute to exposure to high levels of Fukushima fallout (she lived next door to Anaheim, CA, which had the highest EPA recorded levels of I-131.

        And just yesterday, I learned of yet another relatively young person here in the Seattle area dying suddenly, after succumbing to a blood clot (stroke) last week. It was a young father in his 30's at my child's school. πŸ™

        Other such losses this past year in my circle of family and friends include:

        A friend's cousin, also in his 30's, had collapsed and died suddenly of heart failure last year after Fuku, as did her mother-in-law, and another cousin in his 50's. Another friend of mind in her late 40's died in Los Angeles of a massive stroke, leaving behind two small children, and another relative in Southern California had a heart attack. Both occurred last December. There are too many other health issues I've heard of to repeat here…

        My heart goes out to you, Vaporlock, and all who have suffered such losses.

      • Yes, vaporlock … so sorry to hear this, so sad for you and your family.

        And also for your losses, WATK.


      • odylan

        My condolences Vaporlock. My sister recently died aged 58. I recall being alarmed to learn that she was walking in the hills about the time the Chernobyl rain was falling. Fortunately for me I was out of the country at the time.

  • Jebus Jebus

    This is the part where the Nuclear Industry's little sister, The Medical Industry, jumps up and down, clapping, like a child with a new toy…

    Cancer Problems Look Set To Nearly Double

    The occurrence of cancer looks set to double over the next 15+ years with researchers predicting a 75% rise in cancer incidence by 2030. In poorer countries, the number is closer to 90%.

    You WILL get Cancer, if not just to support the industry…

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      They'll only be clapping until everyone runs out of money.

      The insurance companies are broke, the governments are broke, we're broke, and most of us are going to get cancer.

      What a future. Thanks, GE.

      It's a good thing GE doesn't pay any taxes, so they don't have to help support our health care, the taxpayer pays for their failures and they have a bought government to prevent any legal responsibility for the end of humankind. Bonuses all around!

      • nohobear nohobear

        I think you're right TIS. When in one of my more dystopian moods, I foresee a future when the treatment money runs out, and before bodies are allowed to pile up, we'll see Euthanasia centers, ala "Soylent Green". "Sanctity of Life" b.s. will be transformed to "Death with Dignity". And you can bet someone will still be making a buck off of death.

        I think finally, the ability of TPTB, to hide the enormity of this disaster is cracking. The truth is now coming out. We all need to double down on our efforts to awaken and educate our friends and family, even at the risk of being called conspiracy nut and ostracized. The contaminated seafood is a game changer. That will get people's attention and traction in the media. We at least owe it to the people we care about to help them take whatever steps they can to protect their health and increase their chances of surviving this coming nuclear plague.

        • StPaulScout StPaulScout

          Unless they breath clean air and eat clean food, drink clean water, have a clean environment to move about in, they are still in the same boat as everyone else. So?

  • What-About-The-Kids

    Thank goodness for the existence of Robert Alvarez, one of the fewest remaining scientists and policy advisors left with their integrity firmly intact.

    Here are the intelligent, educated and reasoned comments of just such another person of integrity, Paul Gunter, of Beyond Nuclear, which he wrote in the comments section of NPR's "Hot Tuna" article in their Food Blog:

    "Paul Gunter (gunter) wrote:

    "What is significantly missing from Harris' reporting, besides balance, is a more complex story than the Stanford-Stony Brook finding of another anthropogenic contribution to an increasingly toxic marine environment. Granted radio news likes to boil the story down into sound bites but it can also reveal the reporter's bias. This study is the first "unequivocal evidence" that radioactive releases from Fukushima are now bio-magnifying and bio-accumulating in the marine ecosystem that spans the Pacific Ocean. Granted the exposure to the top of the food chain is still relatively small but the accident is relatively young compared to the hazardous half-life of this one isotope, cesium-137 (300 yrs). The research focused on detecting gamma emitting radiation without addressing beta and alpha emitters. The migratory bluefin tuna will return to their spawning ground to Japan's coastal waters of the Western Pacific again and again over their life span…" (continued)…

    • What-About-The-Kids


      "… The migratory bluefin tuna will return to their spawning ground to Japan's coastal waters of the Western Pacific again and again over their life span. Given that their average life span is 15 years, the fish will repeatedly enter the contaminated marine eco-sphere for repeated exposures and "bio-accumulation". Harris and Emery's trivialization of anthropogenic radiocesium movement in the food chain is premature and unjustified."

      NPR: Repeat after me: B-I-O-A-C-C-U-M-U-L-A-T-I-O-N

      Class dismissed…for now…


  • Cisco Cisco

    Yeah NPR. For more information like that, dial 1-800-EAT-TUNA and die!

  • Myme

    NPR and skewed scientists are exposed here. They all rely on the faulty Hiroshima/Nagasaki data that excluded radioactive intake from in water, soil, food and zero genetic mutation study, in order to propagate the myth of 'safe' low radiation and nuclear energy.

    "Science with a Skew: The Nuclear Power Industry After Chernobyl and Fukushima" by Gayle Greene (English) (Japanese)

  • Max1 Max1

    A comment at the NPR site that floors me:

    Harvey Farr (IntlHrvstr) wrote:
    Hot Tuna Conversions and Dose EPA FGR 11 Ingestion
    Bq/kg Bq/g pCi/g pCi/lb Total Eff mrem/lb
    Cs-134 4 0.004 0.108 49.081 0.0023
    Cs-137 6.3 0.0063 0.170 77.303 0.0025
    Total 0.0047
    Radiation Limits and Sources Dose mrem Unit Tuna Pounds
    Typical Dental X-Ray 0.5 per Exam 106
    ICRP Trivial Dose Level 1 per Year 211
    Chest x ray (PA film) 2 per Exam 422
    Round Trip Flight Across U.S. 3 per Trip 633
    EPA Drinking Water Limit 4 per Year 844
    Skull x ray 10 per Exam 2,110
    EPA Public Limits (40 CFR 190) 25 per Year 5,276
    NRC Decommissioning Dose Limit 25 per Year 5,276
    NRC Public Limit (10 CFR 20) 100 per Year 21,104
    Living on Colorado New Mexico
    Plateau versus Sea Level 150 per Year 31,657
    Lumbar spine X-Ray 150 per Exam 31,657
    Radon Gas in Homes 200 per Year 42,209
    CT Scan Head 200 per Exam 42,209

    = = = = =

    This poster seems to think a dental, chest or lumbar spine X-ray delivers Caesium 134 and 137. Or that a CT scan delivers measurable amounts of Cs 134 and Cs 137.

    That in essence, a grape has as much vitamin C as a kiwi fruit does because, well, it's all fruit!

  • I've been engaged in a relatively civil little comment Q&A over at Atomic Insights on Atomicrod's piece on the Bluefin- they all pretty much tell me there is nothing to worry about and pat me on the head.

    Rod also just told me not to eat the tuna -not because it was radioactive, but to save it for those of us who enjoy its flavor. I asked about the seals and polar bears with lesions, etc… he had no idea what I was talking about. How is that possible?

    I was trying to play nice, but there's only so much patting on the head I can take.

    • labmonkeywithagun labmonkeywithagun

      He only has a high school education.Then navy cookbook nuke (BTW, their nukes are designed to be totally idiot-proof and he ALMOST BLEW ON UP)
      But a great con-man.
      Cult of personality and his followers will give him money, wife, daughters, ect.
      Ripped off a bunch of people with a company that was designing small module reactors- which when a real nuclear engineer saw it, he almost died laughing.
      Have fun, mind like a steel trap….rusted shut.

      • labmonkeywithagun labmonkeywithagun

        BTW they are here too
        keeping an eye on us/ (ok more ya'll, I'm not here).
        Payback is a bitch.
        Where the fuck did he get polonium in tuna?
        Except it is one of his favorite socks?
        Polonium man, atoms4peace, mod mark,caldomark/markcaldo
        Should I go on? Has jtt password……this is huffpo BTW
        other at CNN.FOX,Yahoo
        His company has been busted once, but there is 65 million developement grant for new nukes………Shit, I'll start designing 'em.

    • KArt

      I just went to that hyperlink. I have never heard about Rod Adams before. I read what he said and what you wrote. You did good and you didnt lose your cool! He used that line that no civilian was hurt by any radiation released by Fuku incident. Wow. And then he was all pompous about eating the tuna. He kept bringing up Fox ,which as most of us know is terribly sensationalist and often is a shill for corporate interests and used that to show that any anti nuke stance can be traced to the vacuous reporting of agencies like fox news. Made me pretty mad.
      Again… you did good!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    @etwas seltsam..I admire the patience you displayed in your exchange with AtomicRod..
    He is one of the finest mouth pieces for the industry in all of history…to the point he is willing to ignore and twist scientific fact.
    He is absolute denial..that the origianl explosions …sent TONS of radioactive materials into the air and water…
    He denies the state of the spent fuel..when no longer in containment.
    Needless to say.. he will deny the ongoing contamination of the Pacific Ocean by Fukushima Npp.
    This positioning is ignorant..and there-by dangerous.
    AtomicRod…participates in the cover up of the effects of Fukushima and it's effects on the US.
    Traitorous activity.

  • Thanks. I had to give it a try, just to see what they would feed me. It was as expected. I suppose I'll give him some links about the sick seals & bears.

    I don't know if it's worth the effort, but at least there'll be a record of one dissenting voice in that caca-phony of red herrings.

    Unless he deletes me- which won't be because I play the insult game- I'm just going to let those go right over my little head πŸ˜‰ and keep asking "stupid" questions…but clearly he's already becoming impatient with me: go away, kid- ya bother me…

    I don't know where he got his numbers on how much or what "was released" – was??

    And I noticed he skipped right over the Cs137 300-year half-life issue.

    Sigh. A futile, lethal exercise?

    • labmonkeywithagun labmonkeywithagun

      He deletes me.
      I brought up the Thrasher and Scorpion subs. The background there is Navy wanted a way to feed seawater into reactors for emergency cooling. NN shipyard guy named Savage designed it, only two subs to ever use that design.
      Now after that it gets into assumptions. One was valve gave way under depth pressure, Savage said it was impossible- I believe him. Other was orders were given to test it and see what happens, the seawater poured on an enriched fueled running reactor set it off…..boom.

      Anyway, the whole sub cultured changed and the atomic wad does not like to obey real rules.
      Anyway, when Japan used seawater, he had this whole thing about cool it, everything was good, no change, be able to just clean up and fire it back up……

    • When I first saw 'Rod', which I think is a funny name for a pro-nuker, I seriously thought he was a bad actor trying to do a pro-nuke comedy routine. I thought, "Wow, that's not very funny at all."

      I tend to leave one of my more favorite 'blistering' comments on these kind of sites and then I exit. Giving them more than one comment feeds their criminal psychosis.

      clarification: cesium-137 has a 30 yr decay rate (half-life)

      Hazardous to Life x 10 = 300 years. (minimum)

      According to Beyond Nuclear the real calculation is closer to 20x or 600 years for the Hazardous to life time span of cesium-137. Maybe future generations will be able to tell us the accuracy on this one. Maybe? πŸ™

    • Max1 Max1

      As Rod Adams this question:

      Does Cs 131 and Cs 137 react to muscle tissue the same way Potassium does?

      When he promotes the idea that Cs 131 and Cs 137 are just like potassium, what really is he selling? Snake oil?

      • Max1 Max1

        Substitute ANY other pollutant in his argument…
        … He sounds just as ridiculous.

        … "It's only a slight increase above background levels".

        Makes it safer to eat, YES?

        More pollutant = safer to consume?

        • Max1 Max1

          … What is his reward for convincing his readers that consumption of higher levels of pollutants in their food need NOT be feared?

          • More for him? πŸ˜‰

          • Silence from Atomicrod to me, BTW, but he did reply to someone else:

            "I can proudly look into the eyes of anyone and tell them that my knowledge of nuclear fission is what makes me optimistic for the future of human civilization. If all we had was fossil fuel and unreliables, I would be really depressed by the dim prospects for any future development or prosperity. Instead, I know we have a clean power source that is virtually inexhaustible.

            I can also honestly tell anyone that any deformities that their children might have are NOT from the use of nuclear energy to produce power or heat."

            *Honestly?! Inexhaustible, indeed. Clean, it most certainly is not.
            Pu239 is right. This fellow is delusional.


            Now I shall ask your questions, Max1, but I'll find out where he's been trolling recently and do it there as well.

      • Max1- yes, I will do that. Very good question…in fact, verrry good idea. While I'm at it, and before I'm 86'd, I might as well:

        Anybody else got a question for Atomicrod? Allow me to be your messenger πŸ˜‰

        I just simply must learn more about the "total release was only 11kg" (of cesiums? of everything? into the Pacific, the Jet Stream? both?), how he's so certain they're done, and when, exactly, they stopped, these releases…