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Temporal variation of radionuclides contamination of marine plants on the Fukushima coast after the East Japan nuclear disaster

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July 16, 2019
As a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake and associated tsunami in March 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) released a large amount of radioactive materials into the environment, resulting in contamination of many marine organisms.
In this study, 15 marine algal and a seagrass species were collected from the sublittoral zone of the Iwaki Coast of Fukushima Prefecture from May 2012 to June 2015 and analysed for variations in 110mAg, 134Cs, and 137Cs with time.
The results indicated that (1) 110mAg, 134Cs, and 137Cs were present in all marine plants collected in May 2012; (2) the concentration of 110mAg in the seagrass Phyllospadix iwatensis decreased significantly with time, while the ecological half-life of 110mAg in P. iwatensis was longer at locations closer to the FDNPP; and (3) the 110mAg/137Cs radioactivity ratio of P. iwatensis was remarkably high until 2015, indicating that detectable 110mAg was present in the coastal environment 4 years after the accident.
The concentration of 110mAg in P. iwatensis was higher than those in other marine algae, demonstrating a species-specific mechanism of accumulation.

July 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | 1 Comment

Thin Lichen Exhibits Remarkable Radioactivity Bioaccumulation in Iwate

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Via Marco Kaltofen

From our sampling with Fairwinds in Iitate, Japan; thin layer of lichen exhibits remarkable bioaccumulation of environmental radioactivity.

https://twitter.com/MKaltofen/status/913070118967668743

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s Radiation Will Poison Food “for Decades,” Study Finds

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Three of the six reactors at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi complex were wrecked in March 2011 by an earthquake and tsunami. The destruction of emergency electric generators caused a “station blackout” which halted cooling water intake and circulation. Super-heated, out-of-control uranium fuel in reactors 1, 2, and 3 then boiled off cooling water, and some 300 tons of fuel “melted” and burned through the reactors’ core vessels, gouging so deep into underground sections of the structure that to this day operators aren’t sure where it is. Several explosions in reactor buildings and uncovered fuel rods caused the spewing of huge quantities of radioactive materials to the atmosphere, and the worst radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean ever recorded. Fukushima amounts to Whole-Earth poisoning.

Now, researchers say, radioactive isotopes that were spread across Japan (and beyond) by the meltdowns will continue to contaminate the food supply for a very long time.

According to a new study that focused on “radiocaesium” — as the British call cesium-134 and cesium-137 — “food in japan will be contaminated by low-level radioactivity for decades.” The official university announcement of this study neglected to specify that Fukushima’s cesium will persist in the food chain for thirty decades. It takes 10 radioactive half-lives for cesium-137 to decay to barium, and its half-life is about 30 years, so C-137 stays in the environment for roughly 300 years.

The study’s authors, Professor Jim Smith, of the University of Portsmouth, southwest of London, and Dr. Keiko Tagami, from the Japanese National Institute of Radiological Sciences, report that cesium-caused “radiation doses in the average diet in the Fukushima region are very low and do not present a significant health risk now or in the future.”

This phraseology deliberately conveys a sense of security — but a false one. Asserting that low doses of radiation pose no “significant” health risk sounds reassuring, but an equally factual framing of precisely the same finding is that small amounts of cesium in food pose a slightly increased risk of causing cancer.

This fact was acknowledged by Prof. Smith in the June 14 University of Portsmouth media advisory that announced his food contamination study, which was published in Science of the Total Environment. Because of above-ground atom bomb testing, Prof. Smith said, “Radioactive elements such as caesium-137, strontium-90 and carbon-14 contaminated the global environment, potentially causing hundreds of thousands of unseen cancer deaths.”

No less an authority than the late John Gofman, MD, Ph.D., a co-discoverer of plutonium and Professor Emeritus of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, spent 50 years warning about the threat posed by low doses of radiation. In May 1999, Gofman wrote, “By any reasonable standard of biomedical proof, there is no safe dose, which means that just one decaying radioactive atom can produce permanent mutation in a cell’s genetic molecules. My own work showed this in 1990 for X rays, gamma rays, and beta particles.”

The Fukushima-borne cesium in Japan’s food supply, and in the food-web of the entire Pacific Ocean, emits both beta and gamma radiation. Unfortunately, it will bio-accumulate and bio-concentrate for 300 years, potentially causing, as Dr. Gofman if not Dr. Smith might say, hundreds of thousands of unseen cancer deaths.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/22/fukushimas-radiation-will-poison-food-for-decades-study-finds/

 

 

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Marine Food Web Bioaccumulation model for Cesium 137 in the Pacific Northwest

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From November 2014

Abstract

The Fukushima nuclear accident on 11 March 2011 emerged as a global threat to the conservation of the Pacific Ocean, human health, and marine biodiversity. On April 11 (2011), the Fukushima nuclear plant reached the severity level 7, equivalent to that of the 1986-Chernobyl nuclear disaster. This accident was defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency as “a major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures”.

Despite the looming threat of radiation, there has been scant attention and inadequate radiation monitoring. This is unfortunate, as the potential radioactive contamination of seafoods through bioaccumulation of radioisotopes (i.e. 137Cs) in marine and coastal food webs are issues of major concern for the public health of coastal communities. While releases of 137Cs into the Pacific after the Fukushima nuclear accident are subject to high degree of dilution in the ocean, 137Cs activities are also prone to concentrate in marine food-webs.

With the aim to track the long term fate and bioaccumulation of 137Cs in marine organisms of the Northwest Pacific, we assessed the bioaccumulation potential of 137Cs in a North West Pacific foodweb by developing, applying and testing a simulation time dependent bioaccumulation model in a marine mammalian food web that includes fish-eating resident killer whales (Orcinus orca) as the apex predator.

The model outcomes showed that 137Cs can be expected to bioaccumulate gradually over time in the food web as demonstrated through the use of the slope of the trophic magnification factor (TMF) for 137Cs, which was significantly higher than one (TMF > 1.0; p < 0.0001), ranging from 5.0 at 365 days of simulation to 30 at 10,950 days.

From 1 year to 30 years of simulation, the 137Cs activities predicted in the male killer whale were 6.0 to 182 times 137Cs activities in its major prey (Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

Bioaccumulation of 137Cs was characterized by slow uptake and elimination rates in upper trophic level organisms and dominance of dietary consumption in the uptake of 137CS.

This modeling work showed that in addition to the ocean dilution of 137Cs, a magnification of this radionuclide takes place in the marine food web over time.

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233869698_A_Marine_Food_Web_Bioaccumulation_model_for_Cesium_137_in_the_Pacific_Northwest

December 27, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment