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Anomalies in wildlife and the ecosystem around Chernobyl and Fukushima

 

Dr. Timothy Mousseau, Professor of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina. Mousseau discussed his many studies on the health impacts on wildlife and biota around Chernobyl and Fukushima which soundly debunk the notion that animals there are “thriving.”

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April 9, 2017 Posted by | radiation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Fukushima Wildlife

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Relatively little research has been conducted on animal life in Japan and its coastal waters after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster but anomalies have already been identified.

One study found a marked decline in bird abundance in Fukushima.[i]

Spiders, grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, bumblebees and cicadas also suffered population declines since the accident.[ii]

Another study found cesium contamination in Japanese macaques, ranging across time from a high of 25,000 Becquerels per kilogram in 2011 to 2,000 in 2012.[iii]

Yet another study published in 2015 found chromosomal malformations in wild mice caught in Fukushima Prefecture, with young mice more adversely impacted than older mice.[iv]

Research conducted by Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences on fir trees near the Fukushima Daiichi plant found significant increases in morphological defects corresponding to radiation exposure doses.[v]

Taken together, these studies point to increased biological risks for flora and fauna living in radiation contaminated zones.

REFERENCES

[i] A. Moller, A. Hagiwara, S. Matsui, S. Kasahara, K. Kawatsu, I. Nishiumi, H. Suzuki, K. Ueda, T. and A. Mousseau (2012) ‘Abundance of Birds in Fukushima as Judged from Chernobyl’, Environmental Pollution, 164, 36–39.

[ii] A. Moller, I. Nishiumi, H. Suzuki, K. Ueda, T. A. Mousseau (2013) ‘Differences in Effects of Radiation of Animals in Fukushima and Chernobyl’, Ecological Indicators, 24, 75–81.

[iii] S. Kimura and A. Hatano (4 October 2012) ‘Scientists in Groundbreaking Study on Effects of Radiation in Fukushima’, The Asahi Shimbun, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201210040003, date accessed 6 October 2012.

[iv] Yoshihisa Kubota, Hideo Tsuji, Taiki Kawagoshi, Naoko Shiomi, Hiroyuki Takahashi, Yoshito Watanabe, Shoichi Fuma, Kazutaka Doi, Isao Kawaguchi, Masanari Aoki, Masahide Kubota, Yoshiaki Furuhata, Yusaku Shigemura, Masahiko Mizoguchi, Fumio Yamada, Morihiko Tomozawa, Shinsuke H. Sakamoto, and Satoshi Yoshida Chromosomal Aberrations in Wild Mice Captured in Areas Differentially Contaminated by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49 (16), pp 10074–10083. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01554.

[v] Watanabe, Yoshito, San’ei Ichikawa, Masahide Kubota, Junko Hoshino, Yoshihisa Kubota, Kouichi Maruyama, Shoichi Fuma, Isao Kawaguchi, Vasyl Yoschenko, Satoshi Yoshida, “Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant,” Scientific Reports 5.13232 (2015): doi:10.1038/srep13232.

http://majiasblog.blogspot.fr/2017/01/biological-effects-of-ionizing.html

January 24, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Gun control heartburn: Radioactive boars are amok in Fukushima

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The “most adaptable animals that you’ll ever find” are running rampant across parts of rural Japan in the wake of the 2011 nuclear catastrophe and strict gun laws aren’t helping.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, in which a boiling water reactor nuclear power plant largely went Chernobyl after a tsunami knocked it offline has left Japan with a host of problems to include radiation-induced health impacts, some 200,000 displaced locals and possible exposure of groundwater to melted down nuclear fuel for decades to come.

Oh yeah, and the wild hogs.

According to an article in The Washington Post last April, the boar population, lacking natural predators is booming. Worse, thousands of the animals roam an area where highly radioactive caesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years, has been confirmed.

Most agree that the best way to eradicate the rapid population of would-be Orcs is through hunting, but in gun control-friendly Japan, that is easier said than done.

Something that complicates wild boar management in Japan is the exceptionally restrictive ownership, use, and access to firearms,” says Dr. Mark Smith, a forestry and wildlife professor at Auburn University, told Outside online. “This includes not only the general populace, but also with researchers, wildlife biologists, and natural resource managers.”

According to the Australian-based Small Arms Survey, the rate of private gun ownership in Japan is 0.6 per 100 people with only 77 handguns in circulation and just 0.8 percent of Japanese households containing one or more legal guns, most often shotguns.

Smith went to Japan to study the problem in 2013.

Although [recreational] hunting does occur in Japan, it is very limited,” says Smith, “and hunter numbers are declining by the year, so there are fewer and fewer hunters out there harvesting wild boar.”

Plus there is the problem with the meat. In short, there is no good way to make caesium-137 infused pork a balanced part of your complete meal without the diner glowing in the dark, no matter how much BBQ sauce you use.

In Japan, they have to incinerate the carcasses (at 1,771 degrees Fahrenheit) then obliterate the fragments left over with hammers and box them up. Carefully.

Furthermore, the animals are very smart.

They are the most adaptable animals that you’ll ever find: we call them the ‘opportunistic omnivore,’” says Smith.

http://www.guns.com/2017/01/03/gun-control-heartburn-radioactive-boars-are-amok-in-fukushima/

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima Consequences of Radiation on Wildlife

By Pierre Fetet (translation by Hervé Courtois)

Source : http://www.fukushima-blog.com/2016/09/fukushima-consequences-de-la-radioactivite-sur-la-faune.html

Scientific studies conducted following the Fukushima disaster revealed little by little the consequences of radioactivity on the living and particularly on wildlife. Although published, they are nevertheless rarely circulated. This is why I would like to put a spotlight on some of them and publicize various observations which we do not hear much about, to counter the silly optimism to always relativize the consequences of low doses on life. Any dose of radiation, however small it be, has effects on the living: the ionizing radiation breaks the DNA molecules.

The birds

The feathers of birds take radioactive dust released into the atmosphere continuously by the wind. They therefore suffer permanent external irradiation.

We can see this dust by placing a contaminated bird on a radio-sensitive paper for a month. Here is an example with a bird picked in Iitate in December 2011.

Autoradiography also allows to highlight that the birds also undergo internal contamination.

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Autoradiography of a bird revealing radioactive contamination in the plumage and stomach (Source Morizumi)

Yasuo HORI has also reported that some swallows Fukushima undergo depigmentation, as had already been found in Chernobyl. The Wild Bird Society of Japan also noted that the tail feathers of some Japanese swallows were not uniform.

It must be said that nests of swallows up to 1.4 million becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram (Bq / kg) have been found in the towns of Okuma and Namie. The nests of chickadees, were not better: 1.3 million Bq / kg.

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Left: Swallow from Minamisoma (Fukushima Prefecture) – Right: deformed tail of a swallow from Kakuda (Miyagi Prefecture)

According to studies conducted by Tim Mousseau (University of South Carolina), the population of fifteen bird species living in contaminated areas of Fukushima prefecture decreases with time, with a 30% survival rate.

Another research focused on a falcon species returning in the same nest every year was also conducted by a team of scientists led by Naoki Murase (Nagoya University) at a distance of 100 to 120 km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The interest of this study is that raptors are at the top of a food chain and concentrate radionuclides accumulated by their prey. The authors have shown that the reproductive capacity of the bird was related to radiation measured directly under the nest : radioactivity affects the germline of the bird. The ability of birds to leave the nest fell from 79 to 55% in 2012 and 50% in 2013.

Another study finally published in 2015 by ASN and the Anders Møller laboratory (CNRS), focused on the total dose – internal and external – of birds.

It showed that 90% of the 57 species studied had been chronically exposed to radioactivity dose rate possibly affecting their reproduction.

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Simplified representation of the level change of maximum exposure of adult birds (in dose rate) for 57 species of the bird community observed on 300 sites and four years of study. Compared to the range of variation (in blue) ambient dose rate measured on the sites and ranges (red) corresponding to various effects in birds published by the ICRP (2008) (Source IRSN)

So there are three factors that affect living organisms in contaminated areas: the ambient radiation (the dose that is received by being next to a radioactive object), the external contamination (radioactive dust that sticks to the skin, hair, feathers), and internal contamination (radionuclides ingested or trapped in organs).

The butterflies

The first scientific evidence of damage to a living organism by radioactive contamination due to the disaster of Fukushima Daiichi was delivered by the team of researcher Chiyo Nohara (University of Okinawa).

The study highlighted the physiological and genetic damage of a common butterfly of Japan, the maha zizeeria. In May 2011, some show relatively slight abnormalities. But the first female offspring of the first generation showed more serious defects, inherited by the second generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011, then showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May: abortive hatching, infertility, size reduction, slow growth, high mortality and morphological abnormalities (Atrophied wings, curved or in excess number, malformed antennae, bumpy eyes, discolored).

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Representative anomalies of butterflies fed contaminated leaves. (Source: Hiyama et al)

Aphids

In 2014, Shin-ichi Akimoto (Hokkaido University) found that about 10% of certain insects, such as aphids, have malformations in Fukushima. But their survival and their reproduction remain possible.

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Sorini aphid T. From Fukushima. (A) normal morphology, (B) Level 3 malformation of the abdomen (Source: S. Akimoto)

The cows

The phenomenon of white patches (depigmentation) on the observed swallows in Fukushima and Chernobyl is also found on the cows of Masami Yoshizawa, at the Farm of Hope in Namie, a town located 14 km from the destroyed plant .

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A cow of Masami Yoshizawa was brought to Tokyo in 2014 to the government for diagnosis (AFP Photo)

Horses

The biologist Hayato Minamoto reported the carnage suffered by Tokuei Hosokawa, an Iitate farmer who lost a hundred horses in two years. Iitate had suffered the brunt of the radioactive cloud from the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March-April 2011.

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Iitate horses

Monkeys

Between April 2012 and March 2013, researchers led by Shin-ichi Hayama (Japan University of Life Sciences and Veterinary Sciences) analyzed the blood of 61 Japanese monkeys living in a forest 70 km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The total concentration of cesium in monkeys muscles was between 78 and 1778 Bq / kg. Blood tests in these animals revealed a small quantity of white blood cells and red blood cells, which could make them more vulnerable. The decrease of blood cells was directly proportional to the concentration of cesium in the muscles, which suggests a dose-response correlation. Researchers estimate that exposure to radioactive materials contributed to hematological changes in Fukushima monkeys.

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Drawing by Julien Loïs

Provisional Conclusion

The consequences of radioactivity on animals are visible to anyone who will bother to observe what happens. In this article, I focused on some animals only (there would be other cases to develop: the population decline of the cicadas, the increased cataract of rodents, etc.). Scientists could conduct similar studies on this strange animal that is man, but it would not be politically correct.

Yet this has already been done, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Chernobyl. For example, studies conducted between 1993 and 1998 on Ukrainian children permitted to observe a drop of blood cells, which was related to the exposure of each child to cesium depending on the place of residence. And yet, in Tokyo, from 2011 to 2014, Dr. Mita observed that white blood cells, especially neutrophils, decreased in children under 10 years old. (Which prompted him to move and to ask his patients to leave Tokyo). But no, do not say anything, and do not look into such matter.

In Japan, the denial of the danger is a must. The only mention of a nosebleed in a manga can cause a national affair and censorship … To speak of the negative consequences of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi is not accepted.

You must rebuild, you must forget, you must think about the future. Institutionally, only one study is accepted, the monitoring of thyroids of children in Fukushima. That study is the screen that hides the forest of lies.

And yet, despite 131 thyroid cancers confirmed in June 2016, the official Japanese scientists refuse to see them as caused by radioactivity.

Pierre Fetet

To read more:

1) Scientific studies cited in this article

The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly, A. Hiyama, C. Nohara, S. Kinjo, W. Taira, S. Gima, A. Tanahara, J.-M. Otaki, 2012

 

Low blood cell counts in wild Japanese monkeys after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, K. Ochiai, S. Hayama, S. Nakiri, S. Nakanishi, N. Ishii, T. Uno, T. Kato, F. Konno, Y. Kawamoto, S. Tsuchida, T. Omi, 2014

 

Morphological abnormalities in gall-forming aphids in a radiation-contaminated area near Fukushima Daiichi: selective impact of fallout?, S. Akimoto, 2014

 

Effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident on goshawk reproduction, K. Murase, J. Murase, R. Horie, K. End, 2015

 

Radiological dose reconstruction for birds reconciles outcomes of Fukushima with knowledge of dose-effect relationships, J. Garnier-Laplace, K. Beaugelin-Seiller, C. Della-Vedova, J.-M. Métivier, C. Ritz, T. A. Mousseau, A. P. Møller, 2015

 

Cumulative effects of radioactivity from Fukushima on the abundance and biodiversity of birds, A. P. Møller, I. Nishiumi & T. A. Mousseau, 2015

 

2) Articles and file

Tchernobyl, une histoire pas si naturelle que ça (Pierre Fetet)

 

Non, Tchernobyl n’est pas devenu une réserve naturelle (Timothy Mousseau)

 

A Fukushima, les souris sont aveugles et les oiseaux ne chantent plus (Anne-Laure Barral)

 

Les conséquences de la radioactivité sur la faune et la flore à Tchernobyl et à Fukushima (Dossier Phil Ansois)

 

 

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

According to a wildlife journalist, even in Tokyo some animals suffer mutations

Already few weeks ago a Japanese friend mentioned to me that he noticed very few insects this summer in Tokyo. This article now corroborates it.

If the wild life around Tokyo is that affected, how about the health of the people living there?

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Frog having one eye only (photo by Eiki Sato,  from October 10, 2016)

 

Ravages in Tokyo from the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi 250km away.

The documentary film “Paradise Phantom” just came out. This documentary is about the stationary observations on animals by Eiki Sato, a wildlife journalist. The screening of this film took place at a movie theater in Suginami-ku, Tokyo on September 25, 2016.

Sato filmed for 170 hours various animals in the wild places of Tokyo, for example the banks of the Arakawa river, the fields near sports stadiums and Tokyo plants. These are real paradises for many living creatures, such as kestrels, shrikes, bats, frogs, dragonflies, even the gray beetles, animals that are not on the global red list threatened species.

The documentary shows that since two years animals with abnormalities are being observed . The cause of these abnormalities would be the accumulated radioactivity in the soil of Tokyo, according to Eiki Sato.

During his observations Eiki Sato found many types of deformities, due to mutations: Various insects affected with malformed or missing wing, or with curled wings, or abnormal eyes, unabling them to fly. Mosquito with bent spine, dragonflies with mishaped eyes unable to fly high. Birds with affected eyes, or feathers, unable to fly. Many also cannot reproduce, their population sharply decreasing.

http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/entame/entertainment/602104/

 

 

 

October 14, 2016 Posted by | environment, Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive Boar Are Thriving And Causing Havoc Near The Fukushima Power Plant

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It’s been over five years since tsunami waves crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and led to its nuclear meltdown. While 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the land around the plant remains a dangerous exclusion zone, the area’s wildlife is taking full advantage of the peace.

Since the nuclear disaster, the population of wild boars has rocketed, much to the dismay of surrounding communities, The Times has reported. In the four years following the disaster, the population of boars is thought to have boomed from 3,000 to 13,000. You might think this ancient Japanese symbol of prosperity and fertility might be welcomed, but it’s estimated they have caused $15 million worth of damage to local agriculture.

Assistant ecology professor Okuda Keitokunin told the Japanese Mainichi newspaper that wild boar, along with racoons, have been using the abandoned houses and emptied buildings in the evacuation zone as a place to breed and shelter.

However, this post-nuclear meltdown town isn’t exactly a safe haven for the boars. It’s thought their diet of roots, nuts, berries and water all contain particularly high concentrations of radiation. The animals show no immediate signs of harm from the radiation, however samples from Fukushima’s wild boar meat has shown they contain 300 times the safe amount of the radioactive element caesium-137. Another study on the area’s fir trees showed evidence of growth mutations.

Hunters have been offered rewards to cull the boars by local authorities. However,  the animals are breeding so quickly they can’t keep up. The city of Nihonmatsu, around 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Fukushima plant, has dug three mass graves capable of holding 1,800 dead boars. Recently, these have become overfilled and authorities are now struggling to cope with the influx of culled beasts.

The boom in boars is a similar story to Chernobyl’s post-meltdown wildlife. A study from late last year showed that the populations of deer and wild boar are thriving in the area surrounding the Ukrainian nuclear power plant.

In a statement Jim Smith, one of the authors of the Chernobyl study, explained, “It’s very likely that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident. This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming, and forestry, are a lot worse.”

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/wild-boar-are-thriving-and-causing-havoc-near-fukushima-power-plant/

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

960 Bq/kg of Cs-134/137 detected from wild boar in Fukushima

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According to MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), 960 Bq/Kg of Cesium-134/137 was measured from the meat of wild boar in Fukushima.

The sampling date was 6/11/2016. This reading is over 9 times much as food safety limit.

Cs-134 density was 154 Bq/Kg to prove it is contaminated from Fukushima accident.

From this report MHLW released on 7/19/2016, significant density of Cs-134/137 was detected from all of 33 wild boar samples and it exceeded the food safety limit (100 Bq/Kg) in 2/3 samples.

MHLW reports none of these wild boar meat was distributed for sale.

http://www.mhlw.go.jp/file/04-Houdouhappyou-11135000-Shokuhinanzenbu-Kanshianzenka/0000123667_18.pdf

http://fukushima-diary.com/2016/07/960-bqkg-of-cs-134137-detected-from-wild-boar-in-fukushima/

 

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

Radioactive Forest

July 9, 2016

The Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011 turned the surrounding towns into a desolate land, making the area into a “radioactive forest”. Without human presence, the land is roamed by wildlife like civets, macaques and wild boars. A project is underway to study the deserted areas by attaching a camera to wild boars to record the conditions of the former farmlands. 5 years after the disaster, we take a close look at how radiation has affected the wildlife, and what it entails for us humans.

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment