Officials “Aghast”: High levels of cesium detected far from Fukushima — Radioactivity up sharply in mushrooms 100s of kilometers away — Over 2,000% increase in Tochigi

Published: November 21st, 2012 at 4:20 am ET


(Subscription Only) Title: Wild mushrooms far from Fukushima show high levels of cesium
Source: Asahi
Date:  November 21, 2012

[…] Tourism industry officials and restaurant operators have been aghast to learn that wild mushrooms picked far from the site of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture last year are showing high levels of radioactive cesium.

Source: Asahi

Last year, only wild mushrooms picked in Fukushima Prefecture were found to have cesium levels that exceeded legal standards.

This year, however, wild mushrooms from as far away as Aomori, Nagano and Shizuoka prefectures, all more than 200 kilometers from Fukushima, have been found to be contaminated with cesium. […]

Cesium levels have also risen in various areas compared with last year.

According to tests requested by the central government, the highest levels recorded this year were 120 becquerels in Aomori Prefecture, up from only 60 becquerels last year; 2,100 becquerels in Nagano Prefecture (1,320 becquerels last year); and 3,000 becquerels in Tochigi Prefecture (134 becquerels last year). […]

“I also don’t want to explain why we can’t provide the mushrooms because that could lead to negative publicity that radiation is also a major concern in Aomori” –Tourism industry worker in Aomori Prefecture

Published: November 21st, 2012 at 4:20 am ET


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27 comments to Officials “Aghast”: High levels of cesium detected far from Fukushima — Radioactivity up sharply in mushrooms 100s of kilometers away — Over 2,000% increase in Tochigi

  • Sol Man

    Since the wild mushrooms are very effective at absorbing the cesium it would be excellent for researchers to provide the cesium readings from the mushrooms around the world. This is one way that we can monitor how well the cesium has spread from the jet stream. Are there any takers? Information can be shared on this site.

    • A simple and brilliant idea. I think even mushrooms would be expensive to test, no?

      Would you not have to use something like scintillation spectroscopy?

  • Yes, the mushrooms tell the story. Some people are even listening to the mushrooms without the need for expensive tests. They're leaving Japan at THREE TIMES the normal rate.

    Quake, nuke, economy fears chase Japanese overseas
    BY: RICK WALLACE, TOKYO CORRESPONDENT From: The Australian November 20, 2012 12:00AM

    NEW figures reveal the number of Japanese leaving their homeland for a life abroad has more than tripled in the wake of last year's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

    The number of Japanese living abroad jumped by more than 40,000 in the year to October last year, according to the latest Ministry of Foreign Affairs figures – more than three times the normal rate of growth.

  • PurpleRain PurpleRain

    They seriously have to get out – if at all possible. It's time to see and admit the reality right in front of our noses. Japan is a small country, but it is dying right now, slow but sure. If the people want any future at all, they must leave. Japan will never be "healthy" – the way I see it, it is already a dead country and maybe they will be able to try to keep some of their culture or traditions, but only from a distance.

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    Constant emissions from three open air coriums anyone? Burning radioactive debris? How about some HOT pollen?
    Radiation levels will continue to rise for maybe decades, making much of Japan totally uninhabitable and poisoning billions of people all over the world.

  • jahdesm jahdesm

    we have still 2600bq/kg in wild mushrooms at finland that is from chernobyl

    • JHewes76 JHewes76

      Was the fishing affected by Chernobyl?

      • Sickputer

        "Was the fishing affected by Chernobyl?"

        SP: Yes, and freshwater sources were hit the worst.

        New Chernobyl water and fish study October 24th:

        "Also a few words about the fishes, of course you can say about the danger of the water contamination for the population. One of the main reasons is food chain, it’s drinking water, but fishermen who eat fish from these water bodies.

        You see here also the graphs of the cesium contamination of fishes. It’s
        predatory fish, Suka [ph], I don’t know what you call it in English, it’s in Ukrainian. Of course it’s different scale, because predatory fish is more contaminated than non-predatory fish." [pg. 36]

        "Do you know that Soviet Union and the United States provided testing of more and more powerful [Unclear] bomb? The peak of this testing was here in the end of the 60s. At this moment, was signed the treaty to stop this. We see the Black Sea is very far from the [Unclear] Island where Russia provided testing from the French [Unclear] atoll.
        As I told that the United States provided testing of the bomb, but we could very clearly see contamination in the water, now in the sediments in this period. This is peak of the Chernobyl." [graphs on page 101]

        210 page PDF presentation:

  • Sol Man

    Pu239- Yes, it may be expensive, but it is good to know what all of us are facing, as the situation changes incrementally.
    JHewes- Certainly, the fishing has been effected everywhere. What we are seeing on a worldwide scale is like watching the old two-pan torsion balance scale, with some weight on the one side of the scale, and portions added constantly to pan on the other side; eventually, the sides equalize, where the needle points up to the middle point, and then suddenly the heavier pan goes down as the burden is to great for equilibrium. All is out of balance and all systems are at great risk now.

  • Sol Man

    The change is not incremental, it constantly builds with the vapor and run-offs. The incubus is upon us.

  • jahdesm jahdesm

    fish in lakes now 100-1000 bq/kg cesium 137

  • "..that could lead to negative publicity…" – Tourism Worker

    There's nothing worse than 'negative publicity', unless you consider those who will potentially suffer and from the damaged DNA of future generations due to the negligence of those who did not speak up.

    I wish we would have had more 'negative publicity' 60 years ago, that's when it could have made a real difference.

    Negative Publicity = Truth
    (fact in this case)

  • lam335 lam335

    It would be interesting to know if levels would be rising far from Fuku prefecture if the government were not having contaminated debris burned all across the island.

    The people responsible for the incineration policy should be held accountable for this short-sighted and ignorant decision. But they've presumably ensured that there is no part of the country that is not sharing in this incineration with its consequent spread of additional contamination, and hence no "control" sample for purposes of comparison is available.

    • or-well

      Iam335, agreed, the debris should have been isolated in areas already contaminated to start with.
      But those responsible for honestly determining that failed in their duty to their nation and the world.
      There are many should be held accountable, for past actions, present actions, and the actions we know by their own words are to come.

  • jahdesm jahdesm

    in finland cesium is everywhere mushrooms fish blacberries reindeerflesh ext.and stroke many of my friends age 50-56 years

    • weeman

      How has this effected finland since Chernobyl, what increases in cancers etc.
      Does your government keep a close eye on levels in food and inform the population or has everyone become complacent to it. All the best thanks in advance.

      • guezilla

        The after-effects of Chernobyl are "surprisingly" little studied. Finland was most contaminated country outside of Soviet Union, and Caesium-137:s half-life is longer than the time since the accident. Biological reduction has proven neglible, so about half of the fallout is still around, bio-accumulating.

        "In a survey carried out by the European Commission in 2002, the commission received confirmation that, for example, in game (wild boar, deer), mushrooms and wild berries, as well as in carnivorous fish taken from lakes in certain areas of Germany, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Poland, contamination values of caesium-137 could sometimes reach levels as high as several thousand becquerel per kilogram."

        A study into Chernobyl's effect on cancer in Finland is supposed to be due this year – cancers tend to take long time to develop, so it probably actually is earliest time a meaningful study on it can be made. On the other hand statistical studies have given 95% likelihood that between 875 to 1,556 infants died in Finland (population 5 million, about 60,000 live births annually) during the first five years after Chernobyl.

        If we do very, very naive calculation assuming infant deaths have fallen at similar rate to half-life, we get about 4500 infant deaths more. Of course, not all of Finland was equally contaminated, only about 3.5% was highly contaminated (37 kBq/m^2 or more).

      • guezilla

        Have to continue, since I couldn't fit "about 4500 infant deaths more SO FAR". In theory the total deaths into future would be somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000, but as said that calculation makes many very questionable assumptions about biological half-life, bio-accumulation, radiation effects, neonatal care etc. (essentially assuming they will all remain the same as in 1986)

        For context, the capital of Finland is 1,500 kilometers from Chernobyl reactor. Thus in Finland's (and rest of Scandinavia) case this is thousands of kilometers away, not just 100's as in this Fukushima topic.

        Now the scary thing is IF the infant deaths concentrated mostly in the high-contaminated areas (where rain brought down the fallout), and IF the high-contamination areas were "average" Finland in terms of birth rate (One would assume the study addresses these questions, but this isn't my job so I can't be bothered to check:) then out of normally 10,500 live births in those areas during the first 5 years more than one in ten infants would have died due to Chernobyl – this 1,500 kilometers away.

        In addition there are cancers, strokes etc. Radiation affects young cells more, so the effects on infants are much more dramatic, and they had whole life ahead of them. Some pro-nuclear folks argue in essence that since 85% people are going to die from cancer anyway, a little radiation won't hurt; no such argument can be made for infant mortality.

        • weeman

          I guess we will find out in the next few years only if they do not manipulate the numbers etc.
          I think we need a independent web site established were people of Japan could report their cancers so they can not pull the wool over your eyes.
          Your input is essential thanks guezilla

  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    I don't understand why these people are still finding these reports surprising. If you look at the Chernobyl exclusion zone and superimpose that onto Japan, the entire country should be evacuated. The confiscated/closed areas alone would take up almost half the country, the permanent controlled zones would take up the other half.

  • stopnp stopnp

    Aghast huh? I guess they forgot about the ongoing triple meltdown. The worst


    Nothing to worry about. They will just export them to the US like everything else so they will get rid of them.