Report: 76 trillion becquerels of Plutonium-239 released from Fukushima — 23,000 times higher than previously announced

Published: August 29th, 2011 at 6:15 am ET


NISA Mentions “Neptunium-239” in August 29 Press Conference, EX-SKF, August 28, 2011

[…] The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA)’s daily press conference is ongoing (August 29). The NISA spokesman Moriyama mentions neptunium-239’s conversion ratio to plutonium-239 as 1 to 1.

According to the June 6 estimate by the NISA [see chart below] […] Neptunium-239: 7.6×10^13 […]

At a ratio of 1:1, Plutonium-239 releases are also 7.6 x 10^13, or 76 tera(trillion)becquerels.

23,000 higher than previous gov’t estimate

[…] According to the June 6 estimate by the NISA [see chart below]: Plutonium-239: 3.2×10^9 [3.2 billion becquerels] […]

The amount of plutonium-239 has increased 23,000-fold. […]

*Via EX-SKF* UPDATE on 8/29/2011: NISA backtracked in the joint conference (TEPCO/government) in the afternoon, and now says it’s not sure about the conversion rate of neptunium-239 into plutonium-239.

Published: August 29th, 2011 at 6:15 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Leaked TEPCO report: 120 billion Becquerels of plutonium, 7.6 trillion Becquerels of neptunium released in first 100 hours — Media concealed risk to public October 15, 2011
  2. Japan admits daily radioactive release from Fukushima at 154 trillion Becquerels, many times higher than previously announced — Nuclear commission blames calculation error April 23, 2011
  3. New report estimates 278 trillion Bq of plutonium released from Fukushima reactors — Over 200 times higher than amount reported by Tepco — “Highly radiotoxic when incorporated into human body” as it decays August 5, 2014
  4. Report: Plutonium ratio 200 times higher than gov’t says — Detection made 50km south of Fukushima Daiichi (RESULTS) March 22, 2012
  5. Report: Neptunium-239 found in soil about 40 km from meltdown — “Several thousand becquerels” — Similar to levels detected at front gate of Fukushima plant August 15, 2011

74 comments to Report: 76 trillion becquerels of Plutonium-239 released from Fukushima — 23,000 times higher than previously announced

  • oh



    I thought it was just a few samples…

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      And this is only a June 6th chart!! What does the chart look like today??!!

      “Neutrons from the fission of uranium-235 are captured by uranium-238 nuclei to form uranium-239; a beta decay converts a neutron into a proton to form Np-239 (half-life 2.36 days) and another beta decay forms plutonium-239.” Greenwood, N. N.; Earnshaw, A. (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Oxford (UK): Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-7506-3365-4, (pg. 1259)

      I guess this also means that if 76 teraBq Np-239 detected June 6, must have been produced by fissioning inside reactor blobs about a week or so before the sample was taken….right?? Np-239 only has a half-life of 2.36 days!!! it also looks like whatever mass of U239 one has, it will decay into Np239 and Pu239 in a one-to-one ratio. Maybe someone should send TEPCO the textbook, so they can no longer announce in public that they are “unsure” of the ratio between Np239 and Pu239!! Give me a break!

      • Arizonan Arizonan

        PS Anyone else have comments on the June 6 chart? I’m not sure about how long it would take the Np239 and Pu239 to be formed from the two beta decays of U239. Anyone here know? Also, please comment if it seems to you from looking at the chart that by far and away the largest releases are coming from Reactor 1. Does this mean Reactor 1 is the one which is most likely to still be fissioning? Do we know?? Sorry if I am running behind some of you…

  • maaa

    We are going to die. ALL.

    • lokay5 lokay5

      Yes, we ALL are going to die…eventually

      As Jim Morrison said

      “No one get’s outa here alive.”

    • Blondie Blondie

      OMG, maaa, funny you should say that.

      While watching the time lapse videos yesterday, I came across one that is REALLY weird. I was wondering what the heck the worker is doing, or trying to tell us and my first thought was, kind of jokingly at the time, that he is telling us we’re all going to die. Not so funny now, but still weird. 🙁

      He appears at around 25 seconds in and for about the next minute.

      Is he reading from a card?? What is he trying to tell us? If anyone has any suggestions to explain his odd behaviour, I’d love to hear it. He freaks me out.

      • larry-andrew-nils

        wow, at 1:35 he is insane.
        did he think there was audio?

        was he making a personal vid?
        was he blaming someone?

        he knows he will die and he’s venting frustration?… like we do…? like we are?

        • Arizonan Arizonan

          On the second time viewing it I could definitely see that for the most part he was using some kind of device to take a reading. Only at 1.35/36 does he race up and point at the camera, maybe just because he can. I wish we knew who he was, and whether or not he has a Facebook page! He would be about world-famous by now. I wonder how much that suit actually protects him.

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Hi Blondie,
        i think he is taking a reading. He has put the reading devive in his glove, so it sort of looks like his pointing finger. In his left hand, he seems to hold the thing which shows the levels.
        There’s another clip where he comes really close to the camera, you can see it better there (sorry, I lost the link).
        It’s bizarre, though.

      • stock

        I think he is saying, don’t F up like we did, don’t die like I am going to die. And the greedy among you mend your ways because I will be waiting for those who don’t amend, in the afterlife.

        • cosmicwind

          I don’t think so. I think that is the finger of blame. Blame for inventing nuclear energy, bringing it to Japan, Blaming GE, capitalism on and on….he has a hateful look in his eyes and he doesn’t bow, (he has no respect for whom he is addressing).

      • Blondie Blondie

        Those exact thoughts all raced through my mind, too! I was watching the time lapses late last night and was pretty tired and when he jumps out at 1:35, I got such a fright! I am always a bit “scared” to watch the time lapses and the livecam, for fear of what I’ll see and this guy almost gave me a heart attack.

        Yes, you are probably right. That would be the most logical explanation. It is odd though, that he chooses to point directly at the camera, of all places, and I can’t see anything in his hand at all. I watched the long version of the video and I still can’t see anything in his hand, but you HAVE to be right, because anything else would just be too bizarre. Despite that, Mr pointy-finger-guy still just freaks me out! *shudder*

        Here’s the long version. It gives you more time to see what’s happening. The “jump in” is at about 7:45.

        • larry-andrew-nils

          i did watch the slow version. i havent watched that cam for a while.

          the vegetation sure is growing, not dieing…

          • Arizonan Arizonan

            Some plants do grow faster with exposure to manmade ionizing radiation, but the best theory I heard on that is that they grow faster because they “feel” their life is being threatened. Reproduce now or you may not have the opportunity to do so kind of thing….

      • mikey

        While watching the time lapse videos yesterday, I came across one that is REALLY weird. I was wondering what the heck the worker is doing, or trying to tell us….

        THINK i got what hes doing. They are judging the level of radiation by looking at his finger pointing on the cam and see how many times it appears to jump in 3 5 7 and 10 second intervals…TEPCO has figured out how badly things seem to blurrr and shake in the presence of insane levels of radio active releases…Now they no the affects on CCTV cams as fairly good indicators of death above 10 SV’s per HOUR

    • I remind you that humans are only a tiny minority in this galaxy. – Spock

  • larry-andrew-nils

    please, wasn’t the release already shown to be bigger than chernobyl?

    can someone please tell me that they don’t mean that the release is 20,000 times bigger than chernobyl.

    because they already have been saying for quite some time that it is released more than chernobyl, and if i am seeing correctly, now they are saying 20,000 times?

    please help me.

    • cosmicwind

      It’s always bigger. And this number should be multiplied to the 10 as well. No doubt about it. And no doubt that if Fuku doesn’t get ya….there will be another reator release that does. We will run those babies until they all fail….cause we can….and you can’t stop us…..

    • Steven Steven

      Well I always figured a United States Navy battle group wouldn’t turn and run from a single X-ray.

      Nobody will ever have accurate numbers on this, and they wouldn’t be meaningful anyway. We just flew straight into the cloud with the mountain inside it.

      Those awake to the situation are in the same boat as TPTB… eyes like saucers and waiting with baited breath for the ramifications of the error to make themselves known. Maybe we’ll all get lucky.

  • Larry simple answers…

    I think you mean hiroshima

    and its 72,000 times larger than that.

    ANd this article strongly confirms it was and is now the worst thing to have ever happen to humanity…


    • Arizonan Arizonan

      There has been lots of confirmation of that, for those of us who have been on this site reading it every day since it started. I have begin to tell people now that it is the worst accident to have every happened in human history…ever. There are only a few who do not glaze over immediately….many are surprised to learn that not only have the reactors melted down, they have melted through their containments….this is still news to a lot of people in the USA.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Workers enter containment vessel at Fukushima Daini reactor

    “Workers began inspections Monday inside the containment vessel of the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant’s No. 4 reactor to prepare for investigations into the impact caused by the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster, according to operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.

    The Daini plant is located about 10 kilometers south of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The group of about 10 workers will check the radiation levels and other conditions inside the vessel of the reactor, which automatically halted operations after the magnitude 9.0 temblor.”

    Unit 4 at Daini?? something’s wrong here, right?

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      No, Daini is the plant further south of which we have mysteriously heard so little. Daichi is the one where reactors 1-3 melted, reactor 4 spent fuel pool had an explosion, and reactors 5 & 6 are supposedly “ok.” Different plants.

  • larry-andrew-nils

    ahh, i feel better, look:

    there are 600 trillion square yards on the earth.

    so… what is being released, even with these new numbers amounts to:

    600/76 = 7.89 becquerels per square yard.

    some places will have much more, some much less.

    it’s a numbers game to try and stay calm.

    hey powers that be… why nor raise the number more if fear is what you are looking for.

    because it’s total bullshit that only 7 beqerels per sqare yard have only been released…

    what do yo think about it? can you fucking TASTE 7 bequerels?

    i’m calling their bluff and saying that they should raise it up another hundred times than the headline of this thread suggests.

    mad as a hatter… and angry hatter that’s been done wrong.

    • No worries it will continue to get worse or in better terms escalate. Stay tuned.

      All in time friend but we dig the emotion. Put it to work….

      Make them f()&(* eat that stuff…

      • Besides you forgot to add the other trillions of particles on the list above…

        Theres tons of trillions to go around for everyone…

        They just cant say google because of copyright infringement.

        Google cant have that on its search engine… lulz

    • Darth


      There are 600 trillion square yards on the earth. So… what is being released (76 trillion becquerels), even with these new numbers amounts to:

      600/76 = 7.89 becquerels per square yard.

      Correction: 76/600 = 0.11 becquerels per square yard.

      But no harm no foul – for these are becquerels of Pu-239; or some of the most nasty stuff man has ever created by fissioning the atom as Arnie Gundersen has noted. Further, there are enough hot particles here to eventually kill everything on the planet if it could be evenly distributed.

      • larry-andrew-nils

        whaaat?.. ok i did math wrong. that happens.

        so what’s the big deal then, as long as i’m not near a nuke plant?… i can grow hydroponic food.

        i guess they can just go ahead and blow them all up right now and get it over with right?

        that’s probably the only way to do it anyways…

        where we gonna put all the waste… no matter what it’s in the wrong place.

        go ahead. you got the thumbs up.

        let’s get 3 more reactor sites smoking pronto.

      • thats just the figure of plutonium alone darth. You should add the other elements on the chart.

  • larry-andrew-nils

    yo start to taste radiation at the thousands of becquerels, not the hundreds even…



    I had strong metal-mouth, and so did many others in canada and in usa.

    lies will only make you have to tell more lies, just come clean, it is good for you.

    • Bobby1

      About 2 weeks ago, I bought steaks from two different stores, and bacon and sausage which has been clean up to now. Suddenly it’s massive metal-mouth.

      Everything US-produced except bread and potatoes gives me metal-mouth now. And they will turn in a month or two.

  • Gesturing with the FINGER POINTING like in the camera…

    `Fukushima is the biggest Nuclear Test bomb in the entire world…` At this point in time: It is by far the most epic release of nuclear radiation in the entire history of mankind. It is likely fukushima + every nuclear weapons test in history to have happened all at once…

    Chernobyl is fukushima’s Bitch now To put it simply.

    This is the biggest amount of nuclear contamination to have ever occurred on our planet.

    “In the last 150 days… Tepco managed to half way built a tent. while, They still haven’t found a clue” Oh wait. don’t these things usually go all to hell. And if and when they do… Cant they explode? And if all the contamination is neatly piling up in that tent. and its going to explode and the bio-accumulation fills it up Like it already has but just a little more…and then all a sudden you cant go in…. What then?

    Has anyone felt this IDK. call it a lack of speed in containing this crisis?
    Im pretty scared at this point…

    Its either…
    A its no big deal or….
    B. its a huge ordeal…

    Now if its a huge ordeal (which we think it is) and they are taking their time which they are… were probably already beyond fucked, This obviously means alot of us are going to die and there is nothing we can do about it.

    But if its “no big deal” and they are taking their time…
    The prime minister wouldn’t have quit.
    We would be shipping massive aid to the island…
    we wouldn’t be paranoid.
    They wouldn’t have to spend millions of dollars to hide the situation…
    people in japans hair wouldn’t be falling out, with the addition of nose bleeds. and failed birth rates….
    Online radiation networks would be available online real time.
    The seattle mapping would be public information
    need I go on…

    If its still a bigger event now than the japanese the iaea and tepco are even willing to let you in on…

    I mean christ After all this time…

    Well then god damnit jim
    I really don’t think you can handle the truth.

    All we can really go on from here is: Were in uncharted territory. No nuclear leak has ever matched fukushima.

  • irradiated californian

    nobody knows what this truly could mean, sadly this is something we just have to play the waiting game with to see what it all leads to. the poor japanese, i can’t emphasize that enough, how horrible it will be for them, and the perpetrators (tepco) will more than likely not get put to trial for their crimes against humanity. this is terrible, but it shouldn’t stop us from living our lives. accept this, stay informed, you’ll make it, just stay positive, it’s the best thing to do in these dark times.

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      Acceptance of this unprecedented catastrophe seems to allow one to still absorb info without it affecting one’s emotional outlook too much.

  • cosmicwind

    The really funny thing about all this is….
    Even if by some miricle we resolve Fuku and are not exterminated by it, we STILL haven’t learned anything….we are still running, building, produce more nuclear energy… it will only happen again. So why bother building a tent, by the time it’s up some old reator in france or alabama will start spewing out more plutonium and eventually we will be overtaken…NO DOUBT ABOUT IT…so we should all just party like it’s….the end cause…it is.

    • irradiated californian

      it is for the japanese, i don’t think it will be the end for us all unless there is another major event, like another explosion. i know it’s continuously spewing out radiation still, but another explosion will be the nail in the coffin for us all.

      just my thoughts on this, other than that i agree with everything you said. even if fuku gets resolved, there are plenty of other reactors that could mess up suddenly and meltdown.

      • Darth

        I agree.

        When do we reach a tipping point? Fuku is not enough but it is a sign, an omen. If humanity heeds its deafening call perhaps the gene pool can survive somewhat intact if we limit breeding to take place amongst those whose genes/DNA has remained untouched.

        If further “accidents” add to the toxic radiation burden more and more bets for turning the corner on avoiding effects of radiation poisoning are off the table.

        Given the behavior so far my bet is on an ELE. Intelligence may have been Nature’s first big mistake in evolution.

        • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

          That is a great comment, Darth.

        • Arizonan Arizonan

          No one is going to enforce selective breeding amongst human populations. The very idea is repulsive. Get a grip. The women in regions affected by large quantities of manmade ionizing radiation, like Lop Nor, Kazakstan, Nevada, Australia, several Pacific Islands & Chernobyl have discovered that the most ill-formed babies usually die in the womb or soon after birth. Those who survive near Chernobyl are warehoused in inadequate care facilities. The rapid-fire disintegrating atoms will select us out – we won’t need to do anything draconian, and we won’t be running DNA integrity tests on all pregnant women in Asia, the Pacific, and the western coasts of Canada and the US anytime soon. They can’t even get enough international funds to fix the Chernobyl burial mound, much less build three for Fukushima. The entire international community should be throwing every penny we have left to bury and contain Fukushima, and to help evacuate the affected human populations, but I haven’t heard many international calls for this.

  • Hot Tuna Hot Tuna

    The Japanese government must squash this baseless rumor by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA). Plutonium is as harmless as green tea and rice.

  • 11byevelyn

    You can use Zeolite clay to Detox yourself from plutonium. I’ve got some good links and information at You have to be proactive in these situations, you can’t wait around. The governments use clays to clean up this stuff, so should you. Clay is volcanic ash that’s negatively charged, it encapsulates the positively charged nuclear radiation and sweeps it from your body.It also provides minerals that help protect you from uptaking radioactive particles. A mud bath will pull radiation from your skin and repair sun damage. Clay is the miracle you’re looking for, now quit worrying and start feeling good. State of mind is a big part of it, too, according to the Japanese medical experts, happy people don’t get sick!

  • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

    I have been taking zeolite for a while now, and I actually feel pretty good. I’ll check out that link, though, the stuff I bought was very expensive.

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    “Report: 76 trillion becquerels of Plutonium-239 released from Fukushima — 23,000 times higher than previously announced”

    and also on this page…

    “10 trillion becquerels per hour of radiation currently being released from Fukushima plant: Researcher (VIDEO) August 18, 2011”

    So what is it? 76,000,000,000,000 (76 trillion)so far, or, 240,000,000,000,000 (10 triliion per hour) every day?

  • Cindy

    That worker is definately reading something , and pointing !!

    The way he looks at the card, then looks at the camera, and back again at the card …

    What’s the message , though …?

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      It may be that whatever is on the card was later blocked out. TEPCO have caught the man apparently and given him a warning. I looked at the video for a third time and there is a barely visible blur where the card may have been, but it is possible that it was somehow blurred out. Look again. What do you think?

  • Sickputer

    he sez…you guys are TOAST!

  • Workers enter Fukushima Daini containment vessel

    Workers have entered a containment vessel at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant for the first time since it was hit by the March quake and tsunami.
    Tokyo Electric Power Company said it sent workers into the containment vessel housing the No. 4 reactor on Monday. They are checking for possible damage, plus measuring radiation levels and the temperature inside.
    TEPCO says it wanted to carry out the inspections as …

  • socal stukncali

    Oh great so times that by 10 or 100 and you have the real number

  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    NHK is all about normalizing (desensitization)and minimizing the outrageously actionable and revolution worthy.

  • ystricera

    NISA adjust the announcement yesterday.
    Please examine “specific radioactivity”.
    There are 1.9867e7Bq plutonium-239 as the result of the disintegration of 7.6e13Bq of neptunium-239.

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      I have now read material that says that both Np239 and Pu239 are formed by a beta decay from U239, but I have also read that Pu 239 forms by beta decay of Np239 …anyone know which is correct?

  • Arizonan Arizonan

    Mochizuki Cheshire Iori
    A Fukushima worker died of acute leukemia.
    Announced at the live interview of tepco.
    東京電力 記者会見 – ニコニコ生放送
    2 hours ago near Funabashi-shi, Japan

    They are already saying his leukemia cannot be related to radiation because of the rapid onset. I know the nuke industry always says that leukemia should take longer than five months to develop. But they work backwards from theory rather than forwards from observable data. In fact cancers in the areas of southern Iraq and parts of former Yugoslavia that got fine DU aerosols developed much more quickly than the traditional theoretical models would predict. Ditto for cancers and leukemias near Sellafield (Windscale, named changed after 1959 accident) and Aldermaston nuke facilities in England; ditto for increased leukemias associated with the Chernobyl fallout. The pronukers always say “our theoretical model doesn’t predict rapid onset, therefore this cannot be related to radiation.” It is a predictable line, apparently repeated globally. See the website of the Low level Radiation Campaign ( ) for more info on the recent efforts of some independent European scientists to establish actual risk factors based on observable data rather than from pure theory – it’s like speculation! Not science! Yet pronukers always try to sound so authoritative, like they know what they are talking about.

    • Bobby1

      From the Yablokov Chernobyl book:

      Radiogenic leukemia was detected in Hiroshima
      and Nagasaki a few months after the
      bombing and morbidity peaked in 5 years. The
      latency period for radiogenic leukemia is several
      months to years with the highest incidence
      occurring between 6 and 8 years after exposure

    • Lot of reports of folks having odd white blood cell counts of late !

      • Arizonan Arizonan

        Are sources on your blogspot? FYI a speaker I heard once from the Soviet testing area in Kazakhstan said that in some areas there 80% of the children have anemia. There was a huge anti-nuke movement in Kazakhstan….

  • Blondie Blondie

    About the pointing man…

    Breaking News: Follow up news about the man in the camera

    The uploader of the post sent a query to Tepco.

    Tepco replied around 6PM 8/29/2011.

    Answers from Tepco:

    (1) He is not an outsider. He is a Tepoco’s worker,and he’s already identified.

    (2) This Area is restricted zone. Outsider cannot enter there.

    (3) His action is not “check” nor “inspect”. Not a routine work.

    (4) Tepco did not understand what he means.

    (5) Tepco warned him for his action which may cause misunderstanding or anxiety.


    I apologize if I am posting to a wrong thread or if this has already been posted. I don’t always have the time I wish I had, to read all threads and to stay on top of it all or know what has already been reported. Sometimes, it’s really hard stay ajour with the comments. I do the best I can and it wasn’t my intention to annoy anyone. I’m sorry. 🙁

    • Bobby1

      I think he might be pointing to something behind the camera… reactors 5 and 6, in which a worker tweeted there was a ‘catastrophe’ going on.

      • Jebus Jebus

        If I’m not mistaken #5 & #6 are in the backround, where all of the cranes are off in the distance of that camera view…

        • farawayfan farawayfan

          Reactors 5 and 5 can’t be seen by the camera, they are behind it on the diagram at the bottom of the TEPCO cam page.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Query to Tepco..concerning the “pointing man”?
    What answer did they expect to get?
    The man has been pointed out…he will most likely lose his job..and die sooner than later for his efforts.
    No more messages from that guy…sheesh…..

    • arclight arclight

      just thought my tuppence to the pointy man! mybe this has some relevance!

      Cognitive Effects of Radiation

      “One of the most unexplored regions of radiation exposure has been the threat and consequence of cognitive decrements. There has been proven to be many negative factors associated with exposure to radiation, such as fatigue, memory loss and memory retention problems, concentration loss, lack of mental flexibility, stimulus response”

      and theres lots on cognitive disfunction and radiation, but i will link to this for a general look at effects….

      The systems of the body most affected by chemotherapy drugs include visual and semantic memory, attention and motor coordination.[7] These effects can impair a chemotherapy patient’s ability to understand and make decisions regarding treatment, perform in school or employment and can reduce quality of life.[7] Survivors often report difficulty multitasking, comprehending what they’ve just read, following the thread of a conversation, and retrieving words[8]

      Breast cancer survivors who were treated with chemotherapy have to work harder to perform tasks than survivors whose treatment was surgical. A year after treatment the brains of cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy had physically shrunk while those of people not treated with chemotherapy had not.[9]

      Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment comes as a surprise to many cancer survivors. Often, survivors think their lives will return to normal when the cancer is gone, only to find that the lingering effects of post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment impede their efforts. Working, connecting with loved ones, carrying out day-to-day tasks—all can be very challenging for an impaired brain. Although post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment appears to be temporary, it can be quite long-lived, with some cases lasting 10 years or more.[10]

      • arclight arclight

        the way he was checking his dosimeter at times looked liked he had problems working out what he was describedhere, his body language is not right!… 🙁 i think this worker may be very unwell!!

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I’m not going to cast the as nuts.
    The presentation… which it accusation…probably a declaration of his existance(it happens)…perhaps…. condemnation.
    He seemed to be reading from prepared notes.
    And when done…he moved away swiftly and well..
    Visual imprinting..perfect…

    • arclight arclight

      @heart maybe both perhaps?

      Chernobyl birds are small brained
      5 February 2011
      Birds living around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident have 5% smaller brains, an effect directly linked to lingering background radiation.
      The finding comes from a study of 550 birds belonging to 48 different species living in the region, published in the journal PLoS One.
      Brain size was significantly smaller in yearlings compared with older birds.
      Smaller brain sizes are thought to be linked to reduced cognitive ability.
      The discovery was made by a team of researchers from Norway, France and the US led by Professor Timothy Mousseau from the University of South Carolina, US, and Dr Anders Moller from the University of Paris-Sud, France.
      Harmful legacy

      In April 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded.
      After the accident, traces of radioactive deposits were found in nearly every country in the northern hemisphere.
      An exclusion zone has since been set up around the site of the accident.
      However, scientists have been allowed inside to gauge the impact the radiation has had on the ecology of the region.
      Last year Prof Mousseau and Dr Moller published the results of the largest wildlife census of its kind conducted in Chernobyl – which revealed that mammals were declining in the exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear power plant.

      The scientists have studied the exclusion zone for more than a decade
      Insect diversity has also fallen, and previously, the same researchers found a way to predict which species there were likely to be most severely damaged by radioactive contamination, by evaluating how often they renewed parts of their DNA.
      In their latest study, the scientists used mist nets to collect birds from eight woodland sites around Chernobyl, which have seen a decline in the numbers of larger animals and small invertebrates living within.
      After controlling for the differences between species, they found that the birds had brains 5% smaller on average compared with birds not exposed to background radiation.
      The effect was most pronounced in younger birds, particularly those less than a year old.
      That suggests that many bird embryos did not survive at all, due to the negative effects on their developing brain.
      Mechanism unclear
      Stressed birds are able to change the size of some of their organs in order to tough out difficult environmental conditions.
      For example, migrating birds that have travelled long distances often shrink certain organs as they use up energy.
      But the brain is the last organ to be sacrificed in this way, say the researchers.
      Chernobyl is largely human-free but still contaminated with radiation
      That suggests the background radiation could be having an even more pronounced effect on other organs within the birds.
      It is unclear exactly what mechanism is shrinking the birds’ brains.
      High levels of background radiation cause animals oxidative stress, where they have to use antioxidants in their bodies to fight its ill effects.
      That leaves animals exposed to radiation severely depleted of antioxidants, and the reduced brain size may be a result of this depletion.
      Alternatively, radiation could cause developmental errors in the way the brain grows.

      However, if that were the case, the scientists say they would expect to see pronounced changes to the size and shape of other parts of the birds’ bodies.
      Another possibility is that the birds are developing less well as there is less invertebrate prey for them to eat.
      But the scientists know of no example of the brains of a wild animal shrinking due to a lack of food.
      a bit of pre fuku real bbc reporting!! wow!! i came across these articles to underpin issues of contamination and biology mutations or radiological damage

      Chernobyl’s Radioactivity Reduced Populations of Birds of Orange Plumage, Study Finds
      “The scientists concentrated on the colouring generated by melanins — pigments which protect from ultraviolet radiation and generate camouflage patterns — of the nearly one hundred species of bird studied. The reason: the type of pigmentation may interfere with the ability to resist radioactivity’s negative effects.

      The impact on the populations depends, at least in part, on the amount of plumage whose colouring is generated by pheomelanin, one of the two main types of melanins, which produces orangish and brownish colours, the Spanish expert adds.”

      Darker Birds Better Adapted for Higher Radiation at Chernobyl
      A study of the birds in the Chernobyl fallout zone reveals that black is beautiful.

      | May 4, 2011

      “Mousseau is now in talks with Japanese colleagues to plan studies there following the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Yukie Kajita, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, whose hometown of Koriyama is near Fukushima, says that although the radioactive elements released at Fukushima are different from those released at Chernobyl, researchers will want to design studies there as soon as practical.”

      nice to see them excited about the new improved study to be :/

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The company has him by the collar now…sane or crazy……

  • James2

    Maybe the guy will get fired!

    And live!

  • arclight arclight

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011
    #Radiation in Japan: Something’s Rotten in Yokohama City

    “While the City fed kindergarteners and school children with domestic beef contaminated with radioactive cesium despite protests from the concerned parents, the cafeteria at Yokohama City Hall for the city employees and guests were serving beef imported from Australia.
    6 elementary schools served radioactive beef 5 times, and 22 schools served it 4 times.”