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Japanese authorities ignore radiation levels in Tokyo river eels

radiation-warningflag-japanLocal governments ignore cesium detection in Tokyo river eels, Asahi Shimbun May 17, 2013 By YUSUKE FUKUI/ Staff Writer Tokyo and Chiba local governments took no action for nearly two months after being informed that radioactive cesium had been detected in eels caught in a boundary river between the two prefectures.

Officials of both governments said no independent study was conducted because the eels were not caught by professional fishermen intending to sell the catch.

The detection of the cesium was also not publicized. On March 9, a 47-year-old self-employed woman caught an eel from the Edogawa river in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward. Concerned about reports that cesium had accumulated downstream in the river, she sent the eel to Hideo Yamazaki, a professor of environmental analysis at Kinki University in Osaka Prefecture. Using a germanium semiconductor detector, Yamazaki found that the eel had 147.5 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, higher than the central government standard of 100 becquerels.

Yamazaki reported his finding to the Fisheries Agency in late March because he felt there was a need for an official investigation to back up his finding as well as further studies to look into the effects on other fish.

Although the Fisheries Agency informed both the Tokyo metropolitan and Chiba prefectural governments about the finding, neither had conducted an official study as of May 16.

An official with the Tokyo metropolitan government’s fisheries division said, “Basically, only fish that enter the distribution network is subject to studies. The eel fishing season also does not start until summer.”….. Yamazaki conducted further studies on four eels caught by the same woman in April and May in the Edogawa river. The eels had cesium levels between 97.4 becquerels and 129.6 becquerels per kilogram, with three of the eels having cesium levels exceeding the central government standard…..


May 20, 2013 - Posted by | environment, Japan, radiation

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