Japan Study: “Contamination levels are possibly higher than Chernobyl” from Fukushima disaster — Human health must be carefully and continuously monitored — Highly contaminated river soil in Tokyo metropolitan area

Published: October 22nd, 2013 at 4:46 pm ET


Overview of active cesium contamination of freshwater fish in Fukushima and Eastern Japan, Scientific Reports 2013 (h/t Anonymous tip): […] The serious accidents of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant have been contaminating a vast area in eastern Japan, home of 60 million people. Consumption of freshwater fish is an important part of the aquatic pathway for the transfer of radionuclides to the freshwater ecosystem creatures including humans. […] we have to think that the contamination of freshwater fish is widespread not only in river basins but also all over the ground included all types of water-systems, for example, agricultural and urban water systems. […] In this paper we show the relation between distance and contamination levels by inverse regression analysis. The results indicate the effects of quasi radioactive cesium 137 by the Fukushima accident look like less serious than those of the Chernobyl accident. However, contamination levels are possibly higher than the Chernobyl as the cesium is concentrated by the water systems in limitation region. Water paddy field look like shallow pond saved mud included cesium 137. Moreover, the cesium137 will distribute and concentrate by high density irrigation canal and urban water-system. For example, the highly contaminated Taisho river bottom soil Cs134: 4,335 Bq/kg, Cs137: 5,456 Bq/kg was found at 1/11/2011 at Kitakashiwa bridge of Kashiwa city in Tokyo metropolitan area, 200 km south-west from the plant. Therefore we must carefully and continuously monitor the contamination to the freshwater ecosystem and human health.

Professor Hiroaki Koide, Kyoto University Reactor Research Institute, Welcome to Fukushima (2013): The Japanese government reported to the IAEA about the situation at the Fukushima plant following the accident on March 11. They estimated the dispersion of radioactive material in the air. I feel that the report seriously underestimated the amount of cesium 137 in the atmosphere. According to my estimate, it is about 400-500 times greater than that of Hiroshima.

Watch Koide’s  interview here

Published: October 22nd, 2013 at 4:46 pm ET


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56 comments to Japan Study: “Contamination levels are possibly higher than Chernobyl” from Fukushima disaster — Human health must be carefully and continuously monitored — Highly contaminated river soil in Tokyo metropolitan area

  • Sickputer

    "For example, the highly contaminated Taisho river bottom soil Cs134: 4,335 Bq/kg, Cs137: 5,456 Bq/kg was found at 1/11/2011 at Kitakashiwa bridge of Kashiwa city in Tokyo metropolitan area, 200 km south-west from the plant13."

    SP: In case you are wondering if this is a typo (1/11/2011) it is European date notation (November 1, 2011).

    Cesium, strontium-90 and plutonium/uranium isotopes are going to be embedded in Japan for a very long time. All over Japan. Not just central and eastern zones. Wherever the wind, water, rain, and snow blows from a little nuclear complex that is Pandora's Box unleashed.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    "cesium 137 in the atmosphere; According to my estimate, it is about 400-500 times greater than that of Hiroshima"

    the people who closely monitor the situation will die about the same time as the people they monitor. The people who monitor the monitors may die sooner

    government appointed expert; "we bombed Japan everyday for 15 months with a Hiroshima bomb, but not a single death has been reported" "no immediate health risk"

    and didnt I read the actual figure may be 5000 bombs, and 15,000 bombs yet to "taint" the biosphere? Still, its not a problem because by the time the radionuclides reach the public, they will be highly deluded

    • LOL! "Still, it's not a problem because by the time the radionuclides reach the public, they will be highly deluded."

      Subtle, and awesome!

      • Anthony Anthony

        Citizens have to put their foot down at the realization that Poison is Poison. Period. No levels, no head games, no more life altering industry bullshit period. Like the Native saying I read here the other day – Take what you need and leave it like you found it.

        No more halfhearted compromises are possible if we are to go a new direction away from death.

        • I agree. I was just noting Code's subtle switcheroo. The sentence reads like it's pointing out the old "dilution is the solution to pollution" lie, but instead of "diluted" he uses "deluded." Which is perfectly apropos since the people are indeed deluded by the lie that diluted radioisotopes can't hurt them.

          • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

            Dilution of pollution works in some cases, but not with Nuclear Radiation Contamination since its non-organic shelf life is way to hot for way to long and some it will remain hot for thousands of years. WE are all now in very big serious trouble!

          • Anthony Anthony

            This place is never boring for long… my statement came out almost barking somehow… unintended for you of course!

          • Delution of the public around all issues of toxic heavy metal radioactive pollution is the solution.


      • We Not They Finally

        "highly deluded"? Or "highly dead." Or maybe just "slightly dead"? Take your pick.

      • PurpleRain PurpleRain

        yeah, wow…public highly deluded. Same as politics here in the USA.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      According to my estimate it is full of vaporized Plutonium too.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Fukushima already equals today 6,000 Hiroshima bombsm and will be climbing to at least 15,000 bombs.

      Fukushima Equals 6,000 Hiroshima Bombs Today, More Tomorrow

      And thousands in the US alone have already died from Fukushima in just 2011 alone.

      And many have died in Japan. They died from radiation, not "homesickness."

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        A million babies died in India in 2011 because of Fukushima.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          84 million babies will die as a result of Fukushima:

          Ramaswami Kumar
          September 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm
          At this rate what is the actual count of infant mortality in India due to Fukushima? One must really take a baby death head count all India since March 11,2011. At the rate of 23 to 28.6 million excess infant mortalities in India from 1945 to 1997 compared to the prenuclear era 1911 to 1944 because of 477 PBq of Sr90 released, I estimate 84 million infant mortalities in India due to Fukushima because of the estimated 1200 PBq Sr90 released by Fuku by the three nuke explosions there. The risk recommendations of ICRP would have it as a big zero, the witches at IAEA and WHO applauding.

        • richard richard

          That seems like wild extrapolation to me.

          If there was a million deaths in India, what is the number for Japan?

          I'm sorry, but there are many, mnay, many possible causes of infant mortality in India.

          Trying to blame all of the worlds' tribulations on Fukushima doesn't help the cause to bring nukes to a halt.

          We should fight the nukers with factoids. Although, we can use their obfuscation and delusion tricks as well. Never be afraid to use their own ploys against them.

          However, making up shyte just wont help. Anyone trying to use an empty, factless argument will be quckly overwhelmed by the nuker apologists (they have PR agencies and universities writing their diatribes).

          Rama is a good writer, we've seen him here before. But trying to prove a million deaths in India from Fukukuku is close to an impossibility. We need something tangible to promote.

          • or-well

            Like limp penises.
            That'll get attention.
            Oh wait, there's erectile dysfunction drugs.
            OK, forget that….
            How about the jellyfish babies of Belarus and Fallujah?

          • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

            Disagree, since the jet stream dumps all over India and any radioactive isotopes still circulating will drop all over them. This is not a stretch of/for the imagination considering the size of the population and yes cancer is very rampant now in India. But then it appears its getting hit by the last 60 years of nuclear test fallout as well and the jet fuel filling our skies from all the jet travel too. 6000 fights a day over head in the USA and you can follow the jet streams around the world and you will find your cancers below were they travel.

            Based on the youtube video India is/has been the world's toxic dumping ground and that is bad luck for them!

            • richard richard

              yes obe, india is a vast toxic dumping ground, with very little regulation. Hence, you just don't know what could cause all the cancers, the place is becoming so industrially polluted.

              as they spread their policies around the world (they are emigrating to all countries and taking over many key roles) you can expect more of the same on a global scale.

              • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                Yep, the world's manmade cancer/disease epidemic will grow in size, depth, width, length and girth unless we change course and our poorly taught ways very soon…

          • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

            @ Richard … Japan has the worlds greatest population decline. More deaths, fewer births. A decline in population started in the 1970's but went negative around 2010. The greatest decline is in the Fukushima prefecture.

            Its difficult to attribute causes to effects. But one can take an overview, using some common sense, and the picture becomes clearer. Contamination of all kinds leads to reduced health, increase in death and reduced fertility. In fact the biggest reason for illness, one often overlooked, is that people have become unhealthy. The salient point is that a worldwide system of resource and human exploitation…really a mindset is at the essence of it…has lead to the pollution, deforestation and desertification that is at the heart of the global mass extinction underway. first the wildlife will suffer the greatest loss, then humans will follow. Pointing the finger at nuclear with robust statistics will not solve the greater problem. No rigorous analysis is even required, if one has a level of common sense and connection to nature.

            Humans were a scourge upon the earth. In my view, its ok that they perish and the earth starts anew in some millions of years

            • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

              Japan population is dropping around 280,000 per year. India is still increasing. Japan is seeing the most rapid decline in population of any country on earth, according to the World Population Data Sheet produced by the U.S. Population Reference Bureau. Its of course ridiculous to argue that radiation is not part of the decline. With some wildlife showing genetic symptoms in over 35% of population, like deformity and small brains, it is easy to project that humans will follow a similar path. The tipping point is the biggest unknown factor. At some point, famine, social breakdown and even environmental collapse on a large scale will occur. This will be a "flood" of misery

  • razzz razzz

    It is interesting that uranium is a finite source here on earth and there could be shortages or might simply run out of it.

    Plutonium is more interesting as reprocessing plants are used to reclaim it as fuel for reactors or bombs, when it is reclaimed once then used as fuel again, it can't be reclaimed anymore for fuel because it is no longer arranged correctly on the atomic level to burn correctly (inefficient).

    Thorium reactors need a reprocessing plant built along side them to keep exacting the nuclear wastes to prepare them for re-burning back in the Thorium reactors. The extraction byproducts, chemicals and wastes needed to be dealt with in long term storage and associated costs are enough to make the entire operation a fallacy.

  • dosdos dosdos

    Keep in mind that the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki together totaled less than 5 pounds of fissionables, less than 15% fissioned. Each fuel rod contains about 450 pounds of fissionables.

    • Sickputer

      A single fuel rod is light weight, 63 of them make up the configuration in a hefty metal assembly and altogether are the weight you mentioned.

      Some good spec reading here:


      And some Nuclear Renaissance boasting here by Areva about their expansion plans for MOX fuel and other projects:


      Excerpts: "AREVA's unparalleled experience: with more than 155,000 assemblies (or more than 30 million rods) supplied worldwide to date, AREVA benefits from feedback in the design-fabrication of assemblies that constantly supports the product improvement process."

      "Enrichment: the Georges-Besse II plant, equipped with centrifuging technology, will gradually reach full capacity in 2016. The current Eurodif remains in service and ensures the transition in order to guarantee our clients continuity of delivery. AREVA has also launched an enrichment plant project in the United States in Eagle Rock. It will enter into production as of 2014 and will be dedicated to the American market.
      Fabrication: AREVA's global fabrication capacity represents 3,000 tons of uranium a year, in other words one-third of global production capacity of light water fuel. We have plants in France, Germany, the United States, and Belgium at our disposal."

      SP: No matter how bad the Japan crisis unfolds…don't expect the juggernaut industry to fold…

      • dosdos dosdos

        I should have written "fuel rod assembly", a single unit in the removal process.

      • We Not They Finally

        See "Secret Nuclear Waste: The Dark Side of Humanity" available on youtube. Areva has apparently been contaminating the English Channel for decades now. International law prevents dumping of nuclear waste at sea, but that complex of plants is on the French side of the English Channel and the dumping is "legal." Areva is one of the most dangerous outfits in the world. Didn't know that they were invading the U.S. VERY bad news.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          +10000000000000 TY, WNTF.

          Secret Nuclear Waste – The Dark Side of Humanity
          Published on Oct 30, 2012 [English subtitles]

          " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayak

          “…Protect the young's, children first.

          Dumping nuclear waste around the globe, sea n land,..
          This is all coming of age now, surfacing mayhem for our planet.
          All life is endangered ! How many of this deposit have bursted
          and are leaking,.. deadly nuclear heritage !??
          Thanks go to 007bratsche for translating this documentation from
          the french/german
          It's about the nuclear cycle lies, telling us that reprocessing
          spent fuel would be a means to avoid nuclear waste,
          respectively treat the nuclear waste in a manner it could
          be re-used!!??? LIES from Nuclear Industry.
          Please watch the whole 1:38!…..”


  • weeman

    If this data is from 1/11/2011, radioactivity accumulates, what is the level today, without doubt it is higher, how high, we need new data from same location.
    Someone in Japan send a sample to Arnie please.
    Would be interesting to see results,

    • razzz razzz

      The damaged and un-contained melted reactors are migrating further and further away from the site by erosion. First they were melted inside the reactor core itself, melted through to primary containment. Once out of containments the melts are free to decay away in open air, ground and water. Next they show up in observation wells, then outfalls into the harbor and then up and down the coast and in waterborne plumes.

      If only the blasts of the units were the only radioactive releases, maybe the situation could have been dealt with but parts of the core melts are stored in some kind of liquid form in the leaking tanks farms onsite. Even that temporary containment fails and ends up in the environment.

      The fuel pools are a separate issue but have the potential to be more dangerous than the melted cores.

    • Anthony Anthony

      The only important numbers to us today are for today. I am not demeaning us finally getting some of the numbers and data but I hear where your point is coming from. Completely legitimate input.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes, a huge distinction! 🙁

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    G R A V E . S I T U A T I O N

    Unfortunately, monitoring "humans" won't help. Not one bit.

    Only thing you can do is get away from radiation.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    It is 85 times more radioactive contamination than Chernobyl. And the fuel rods are still fissioning.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Personally I would wager that is an understatement of the facts.

    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      anne, where does that 85x number come from? thx

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Fukushima Daiichi Site: Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl Accident
        April 3, 2012
        “…I asked top spent-fuel pools expert Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy, for an explanation of the potential impact of the 11,421 assemblies.
        I received an astounding response from Mr. Alvarez [updated 4/5/12]:
        “…’ Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).’…”

        • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

          anne, thanks! Interesting that its still only half the weapons testing release. I was going on about this some weeks ago, as a possible justification for the powers that be; I can hear them saying, hell we had twice the release in the good old days of nuke testing, and everybody did just fine! Even a little investment perk in the war against cancer, hehe

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            Problem, is is accumulating and bioaccumulating. Radiation does not go away.

            Why keep making an argument for the pro-Nukers?

            • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

              anne, I dont make any arguments for pro nukers! Try to grasp that I was trying to figure out what THEY think, how they could continue lying about these ELE machines.

              At the same time, it gives us the crudest way to predict what may be in the future. If 60 million died from bomb tests, and if we have a similar release, then, barring for a wee second the bioaccumulation, the tipping points etc, we could expect 60 million more deaths. Of course, you would be eager to point out that the damage is accumulating, and this is true. A tipping point will be reached which will probably kill most life on the planet. In the meantime the suffering is incalculable. Why dont you have a crack at it: what thinking could motivate our most prestigious institutions, scientists, politicians and media to lie about Fukushima and support more nuclear?

              • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

                Unfortunately, 12,000 times Chernobyl is 12 billion, which is everyone on earth in the next 26 years.

                Dr. Holger Strohm – Fukushima Radiation Release Up To 12,000 Times Chernobyl

                And why are people still supporting nuclear energy? Because it is beyond their comprehension and understanding, so it seems like magic. And they are listening to the propaganda by the nuclear industry. And they have been taught that radiation therapy actually cures cancer by the medical profession. And, they are ultimately in denial as to the harmful effects of radiation, because they can't bear the guilt of supporting such a terrible crime against humanity.

                • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

                  yes, Anne, whether its 7x, 85x or 12000x worse than Chernobyl or the Bomb testing era, it makes little difference ultimately, what with all the reactors sitting on the bottom of the ocean, and all the spent fuel pools yet to blow.

                  Whats the point then of trying to expand awareness if its waaay too late to save the planet? If Fukushima was, say twice to 7x as bad as Chernobyl, as it stands, then there is a point to shutting down NPPs, and trying to remediate, in some way. but if its already 12000x worse, then it seems like there is no hope whatsoever for even the next generation, regardless what you do.

                  I dont think nuclear and its consequences are beyond the comprehension of the top scientists and the well informed politicians who must have a dossier on the desk straight form the DOE. But all your points are well received

                • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

                  🙁 ..taught is the key word!
                  "And they have been taught that radiation therapy actually cures cancer by the medical profession. And, they are ultimately in denial as to the harmful effects of radiation, because they can't bear the guilt of supporting such a terrible crime against humanity."

                • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

                  Well, of course, it does matter. And the figures assume that the radiation spreads evenly around the world, and we know that the spread of radiation is very uneven, some locations getting much less, and some much more.

                  So it is important to shut down all reactors. I believe that it is possible to shut down all reactors. Some countries have already decided that they will never have nuclear energy or weapons. The medical profession through education kept the US free of any new nuclear reactors for 30 years.

                  As soon as countries realize that nuclear will totally bankrupt their economy, then nuclear will no longer be desirable. As soon as countries realize that nuclear energy and nuclear weapons production and used of depleted uranium weapons are the greatest reason for climate warming and ice melting, then they will turn against all nuclear. As soon as countries see that Japan has been almost totally destroyed because of nuclear and that the human deaths due to radiation are absolutely huge and the destruction of the human genome will render the human species extinct, they will all ban nuclear.

                  Will this come soon enough? I hope that it will.

                  Education matters. Hope matters. Stopping nuclear energy and weapons is the greatest challenge humans have ever faced. Once this is realized, humans will rise to meet the challenge.

                  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

                    a good post anne, as usual. Love them! I maintain if Fukushima is already 12000x as bad as Chernobyl, there is little reason to have that hope people are so endeared of. So lets hope its still less than 85x, itself enough to destroy the planet.

                    If the moon spiraled out of its orbit into earth, would maintaining hope be of any value, or would it be better to accept the inevitable? So whats closest to the truth of current release; 1/2 or equal to bomb test era, 2x, 7x, 85x, 500x, or 12000x Chernobyl. All these figures are floating around

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Common sense tells you after reading the opening line of the above report would make even the nuke owners step back and say whoa nelly!

    The serious accidents of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant have been contaminating a vast area in eastern Japan, home of 60 million people…..

  • w

    It is the standard practice of the NUKE industry on every nuclear accident or incident-" WE DECIDE what the truth is to the public.

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    Possibly? Possibly? Did they really say that? "Contamination levels are possibly higher than~~~"? My delusions have never been diluted by <i>possible</i> contamination higher than <i>Chernobyl</i>.

  • ftlt

    The media's column inch crowd is repeating itself…

  • J.

    We need very accurate, low-cost, widely distributed detection tools, monitors that can measure A, B, and G radiation. We need these globally. Think of the "One Laptop Per Child" program that aimed at a $99 wind-up powered computer. With mass production I think the top-flight devices that today go for $600 to $1,000 dollars could be sold for a fraction of that through an NPO/NGO. It would be a great Kickstarter project for the right persons, and the owner-operators could make a fair living from the proceeds methinks. With the right devices, nuclear power advocates will be overwhelmed by FACTS, widely collected, distributed, and validated.


  • J.

    BTW, Safecast.org has devices for sale from $450 – $799. In time costs may come down dramatically. Right now the devices are too costly for many budgets I think.