Researchers found Cesium-137 over 50 million times normal levels

Published: December 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am ET


Scientists Assess Radioactivity in the Ocean from Japan Nuclear Power Facility, National Science Foundation (NSF) News, December 9, 2011:

[…] a new study by U.S. and Japanese researchers analyzes the levels of radioactivity discharged in the first four months after the accident. […]


  • The release of radioactivity from Fukushima–both as atmospheric fallout and direct discharges to the ocean–represents the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history.
  • Concentrations of cesium-137, a radioactive isotope with a 30-year half-life, at the plants’ discharge points to the ocean peaked at more than 50 million times normal/previous levels.
  • [Marine chemist Ken Buesseler] says that at levels indicated by these data, the releases are not likely to be a direct threat to humans
  • “We don’t know how this might affect benthic marine life, and with a half-life of 30 years, any cesium-137 accumulating in sediments or groundwater could be a concern for decades to come”

Published: December 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am ET


Related Posts

  1. PBS: 30 times more strontium-90 than cesium at Fukushima… and strontium is “much more dangerous… this is a problem” — Researchers far from plant “surprised by how much continuing radioactivity they found” — Like “ongoing experiment” (VIDEO) August 9, 2013
  2. Scientists: Radioactive cesium at 10 times above normal levels detected 800 km away from Fukushima September 14, 2012
  3. 16 million Bq/liter of Cesium-137 in water at Fukushima Daiichi Spent Fuel Pool No. 1 — More than in June 2011 — Almost 5,000 times Unit 4’s levels March 23, 2013
  4. NYTimes: Gov’t scientist not allowed to publish findings that Fukushima cesium-137 levels could be 10,000 times higher than after Chernobyl in Pacific surface waters — Japan researchers pressured to downplay disaster’s impact — Professors obstructed when data might cause public concern March 16, 2014
  5. Asahi: Radiation levels spike to record high in Fukushima groundwater well nearby ocean — Trench failures to blame, says Tepco — Million times more strontium/beta-ray source than cesium December 14, 2013

44 comments to Researchers found Cesium-137 over 50 million times normal levels

  • Dr. McCoy

    Imagine what the response would be if the poison spewing from Fuke wasn’t invisible.

    Out of sight, out of mind.

  • sworldpeas

    Dear Ken Buesseler the abalone industry in Japan needs a new spokesman. Won’t you please bring your family to Fukushima for a nice seafood dinner and a swim in the ocean?

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    No direct threat at all to humans living in the benthic zone (bottom of the ocean). That’s a relief, Ken, thanks for the professional reassurance. Has anyone ever told you that you are a good dancer?

  • gr81 gr81

    AND to protect ourselves from der radiation vee vill all paindt der schmiles on our faces to prrove vee are hoppy!

  • thelili

    Now the trick is to find any high level politician or celebrity that has been there in the past three months and let them know so they can panic.

    Anyone know Danica Patrick’s email? It will surely have to be someone American or French to sound the alarm.

    For the alarm is about to be sounded.

    Batten down the hatches kids-this ride is about to get bumpy.

    • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie just made a trip. Yoko Ono may still be there. Perhaps Danica and the rest of her collegues who made the trip would be interested. Fukushima exposed by race car drivers. Now that would be something exciting and new. All deserve at least an email. Great idea.

  • TheWorldIsBlind

    funny thing – 30 yr half life is wrong. studies show the half life is longer.

  • sworldpeas

    So lets see… It’s a level 7 nuclear disaster.
    Released the most amount of radiation into the atmosphere.
    Released the most amount of radiation into the ocean.
    It blew TONS AND TONS MOX fuel all over the place.
    Fuel rods are found 2 as far as 2 kilometers away.
    3 nuclear meltdowns going China syndrome.
    50 million times above normal for C-137
    Yet there is no “immediate” threat to human health??? So what would it take to be an immediate threat? How bad does it have to be? is 100 million times more C-137 a threat? If 50 million times background is not a threat then what is???
    It’s as if Fukushima blew up and cotton balls came out! I DON’T GET IT!!!

    • The cotton balls did come out and most landed directly into the ears of those in denial of an ‘obvious’ planet changing event.

      Well said sworldpeas. 🙂

    • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

      50 MILLION times more than normal, new normal or old normal? No direct threat to human health (stated with authority and probably a straight face).
      But good old pot is a schedule one drug and dangerous to human health? WTF!

      Insanity IS the new normal!

    • Anthony Anthony

      Amen to all that.

  • thelili

    @Sworldpeas we regular citizens are morons. We can’t be expected to understand all of the “complicated” information in such a report 😛

    No seriously, initially they thought others would suffer so they didn’t care. Now that they’ve found out the S has HTF they are stalling until they can make a confusing lie, acceptable legal defense, or escape their respective countries.

    They do not yet realize that no safe place exists for them on the planet.

  • goathead goathead

    I believe Dr McCoy is right!! Out of site IS out of mind and I find it difficult to see how this is going to change any time soon. Only when we’re all sick and dying, are we going to put the dots together and then of course it’ll be too late.

    • PoorDaddy PoorDaddy

      goathead…you and McCoy are surely right…..out of sight, out of mind.
      MSM is reluctantly willing to discuss the Fuku radioactive debri field heading to the west coast….it is highly visible and in your face, but no honest mention of atmospheric radioactive poison without the “levels too low to affect health” disclaimer.
      The only difference between the two is visual.
      One other interesting development lately….no “officials” are comparing this contamination to cross country flights or fuckin bananas anymore!

    • entropy

      We will be (as we are now) sick and dying and there will still be denial. “higher instances of cancer is normal considering our sentary life style”.

      High blood pressure
      Dulled senses….
      All symptoms of exposure to radiation.

  • thelili

    @Goathead people are getting sick faster than anyone anticipated. The hot rains and snow are coming. The lid will be completely off this by Spring barring any other earthquakes, explosions, or tsunamis.

  • goathead goathead

    thelili, I certainly don’t disagree with you but while people are getting sicker and in larger quantities than anticipated, The reaction time to this disaster by the proper authorities doesn’t appear to be relative. It’s incredible how the mainstream media have kept out of this as well and I don’t know how if it’s ever going to change. The elephant in the corner is now an ostrich with it’s head in the sand!

  • thelili

    @Goathead-honey the biggest crybabies in the world are sick politicians. They are drama queens and narcissists of the highest order.

    If one American politician gets sick from Fukushima you can bet that they will scream bloody murder to get attention.

    Don’t worry. It will happen.

  • Embedded video from above link..

    What would happen if radiation were VISIBLE as red dots?

  • thelili

    From the Japan Times…

    Meiji ignored tipoffs on cesium in formula-ya think?

  • No immediate threat to human life. 21st century example of doublespeak. No threat to human life is self explanatory. No immediate threat to human life sounds similar but really alludes to a future threat. Last night I smoked a pack of cigarettes, shot up heroin with a dirty needle I found on the street, and had unprotected sex with an aids carrying hooker. I am still alive today so obviously there was no immediate threat to my life.

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Mark, he said “no direct threat”, I believe, rather than “no immediate threat”. Still doublespeak, but of a slightly different form. Rather than focusing on (future) tense, it appears to focus on mechanism.

      For example, if a baseball bat smashes a skull it does so directly, but if it hits a ball that smashes a skull then the bat poses no direct threat (only an indirect one).

      I think he says (truthfully but unhelpfully and misleadingly) that the releases in the ocean (where nobody lives) will not directly hurt humans (who aren’t there to be hurt).

      In that model, there is no direct threat from the fuel rods (they are vaporized) or the mox (it is, uh, gone away), or from Tepco (everyone is in their office and is obviously no threat to anyone), and so forth.

      The “immediate threat” line has been used often also, but I think the “direct threat” version provides even more room to maneuver.

      Meanwhile, the Daiichi crisis grinds on, alas.

  • thelili

    @Mark lol exactly right. All you have to do is follow the doublespeak or, for some other folks, one-track simple mindedness in order to keep comfortable.

    Because that’s what its all about right? Everyone’s “comfort”. We have to make sure to stay in everyone’s comfort zone here. Never mind that you are getting sicker by the second and that shortly people everywhere will be feeling physical symptoms.

    Just stay mentally comfortable and all of the bad things will disappear.


  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “When it comes to the oceans, however,” says Buesseler, “the impact of Fukushima exceeds Chernobyl” according to an article from May 20.

    Ken Buesseler, the scientist quoted at the top of this thread has appeared in many online stories about nuclear issues since the Fukushima crisis began. If you Google him and read some of the links it may help you form an opinion about his credibility and objectivity on the topic.

    • sworldpeas

      It’s 50 million times background levels and he says “these levels are not likely to be a threat to humans” Unless he has some data to support his claim he has no credibility and lost all objectivity and looks like a SHILL. It is mathematically impossible to have radioactive isotopes measured at 50 million times background and NOT be a threat, it doesn’t work that way, he knows that and you know that. He is downplaying the worst nuclear disaster in history and doing it from a position of authority. I read some other articles he wrote at your suggestion. His position is that the tsunami caused the meltdowns. He is uninformed and doing a disservice to us all and should shut the fuck up. end of story.

  • maaa

    And No one talks about plutonium.