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The latest findings follow up on a 2012 study that found radioactive cesium, a nuclear reactor byproduct, in tuna caught off California in the months after the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi. The attention that study received led scientists to take another look at the data, said Nicholas Fisher, a marine science professor at New York's Stony Brook University.
"People did not know how to translate that into a dose, or into what risk do I have from eating that tuna," Fisher said. "The paper that's coming out today addresses that."
They found that anyone who eats the bluefin -- highly prized for sushi and sashimi -- would get about 5% of the radiation they'd get from eating one typical banana, a fruit high in naturally radioactive potassium. The results were released Monday by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Even subsistence fishermen, who eat far more fish than the typical American, would receive a dose of radiation from the cesium isotopes released in the meltdown equivalent to a single dental X-ray, Fisher and his colleagues reported. That translates to a "worst-case scenario" of two additional cancer deaths for every 10 million people in that category, he said.
Scientists say some radioactive cesium levels in seawater are higher farther away than adjacent to Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Marine chemist Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, was among those carrying out the research in Pacific waters last June.
“Some of those concentrations were up to 100-1,000 times higher than what had existed off Japan before the accident," said Buesseler. "Those levels are still low relative to direct impacts on humans, in terms of exposure, and organisms living in them. And, even if you eat the seafood from these waters off shore, that would be the primary pathway by which you might be affected at this point in time.”
Fish containing 258 times the legal limit of radioactive cesium have been caught in waters off Fukushima, according to Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO).
Two rock trout caught about 20 km (12 mi) to the north of the plant were found to contain 25,800 becquerels per kg of cesium -- the highest amount detected in surveys done since last year's nuclear catastrophe.
Consuming 200 g of fish containing this amount of cesium would amount to an internal radiation exposure of 0.08 millisievert for a human. The annual safety limit for radiation exposure from food products is 1 millisievert.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said June 9 that it has transferred all 24,000 tons of highly radioactive water from leaky underground tanks to surface tanks at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The utility moved highly radioactive water to steel surface tanks after leaks were found in the No. 2 and No. 3 underground tanks in early April. The cause of the leaks remains unknown.
At one of the surface tanks, water was found spilling from around a bolt connecting the steel plates that form the tank’s wall on June 5. TEPCO said the leak stopped after some of the water was removed and put in another storage tank.
The No. 4 underground storage tank holds 3,000 tons of low-level radioactive water that had accumulated in the basements of the No. 5 and No. 6 reactor buildings.
TEPCO plans to begin moving the water to the basement of the No. 6 reactor turbine building in mid-June.
An onsite inspection of Japan’s only two operating nuclear reactors will be conducted by the Nuclear Regulation Authority by June 15 to assess if they are safe enough to continue operations beyond July. The NRA will be implementing new security requirements for nuclear plants by then and they need to assess whether the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors will be able to meet up to those new standards.
20 inspectors from the NRA, including Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa will be inspecting the plant’s air-cooled power generator for emergency use and the newly installed water pumps at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture. The NRA has asked Kansai Electric Power Co, the operator of the Oi plant, to create safety measures under different scenarios like reactor core meltdowns or reactor containers being severely damaged. Kansai said they are planning to use a 108-sq.-meter meeting room that is just right next to the control room as an emergency command center in case of a serious accident. The NRA will also be inspecting if there are active faults under the nuclear plant on the coast of the Sea of Japan. After the inspection, the NRA will decide on whether the two reactors can operate through September, after which they will be undergoing mandatory routine inspections.
Tokyo: The wife of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not like nuclear power and would rather her husband's government did not try to export it, she said in a speech.
In comments that appear to run against the grain of government thinking, which is increasingly moving towards switching mothballed reactors back on, Akie Abe said Japan should press on instead with renewables.
"I feel bad that Japan is trying to sell nuclear power plants overseas because I am anti-nuclear," she said in a closed-door speech last Thursday at an event organised by a non-profit group that supports farming communities.
OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture--A canopy has been completed over a heavily damaged reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in preparation for removing the spent nuclear fuel inside.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. allowed reporters to tour part of the facility, which experienced reactor meltdowns after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, on June 11.
The upper part of the No. 4 reactor building was blown off in a hydrogen explosion. The canopy covering it will prevent further leakage of radioactive substances when workers remove spent nuclear fuel from the building. The No. 4 reactor had been shut down for regular maintenance when the tsunami struck, but its storage pool contains 1,533 spent fuel rod bundles that still generate large amounts of heat.
TEPCO has said it will equip the canopy with a hoist to remove spent nuclear fuel from the pool as part of the decommissioning process at the crippled plant.
Thanks for the post. I think they meant exactly what they said. All six reactors are at dai-ichi which means "number one", so that's what they refer to when they say "No. 1".
Originally posted by qmantoo
(They mean R#4 NOT R#1 I think)
A team of Russian and American scientists is attracting worldwide attention with a paper that finds that Japan's devastating March earthquake was preceded by marked atmospheric changes near the quake's epicenter immediately before it struck. The finding is the latest in more than a decade of research looking into the possibility that stresses in the Earth's crust before a major quake may be connected to pronounced changes in the atmosphere from the surface to its uppermost layers.
lovely photos he took