Chad Love


Here’s a sobering reminder of the long-term damage caused by last year’s tsunami disaster in Japan: Fish recently caught near the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant were found to have record-high levels of radiation.

From this story on
Radioactive cesium measuring 258 times the amount that Japan’s government deems safe for consumption has been found in fish near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported Tuesday. The Tokyo Electric Power Co. found 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in two greenlings in the sea within 20 kilometers of the plant on August 1 – a record for the thousands of Fukushima-area fish caught and tested since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to a nuclear disaster at the plant, Kyodo reported. Japan’s government considers fish with more than 100 becquerels per kilogram unsafe for consumption. A becquerel is a measurement of radioactive intensity.

According to the story, Japanese authorities also found high levels of radioactivity in several other species of fish. The Japanese government has restricted fishing in the Fukushima area, but fishing for octopus and certain shellfish has been allowed in some areas that lie 50 kilometers from the plant. It makes me wonder what effect, if any, the disaster has had on pelagic fishes and if we could ever see something similar here.