Fukushima nuke pollution in sea 'was world's worst'

Oct 27, 2011
France's nuclear monitor said on Thursday that the amount of caesium 137 that leaked into the Pacific from the Fukushima disaster was the greatest single nuclear contamination of the sea ever seen.

France's nuclear monitor said on Thursday that the amount of caesium 137 that leaked into the Pacific from the Fukushima disaster was the greatest single nuclear contamination of the sea ever seen.

But, confirming previous assessments, it said caesium levels had been hugely diluted by and, except for near-shore species, posed no discernible threat.

From March 21 to mid-July, 27.1 peta becquerels of caesium 137 entered the sea, the Institute for Radiological Protection and (IRSN) said.

One peta becquerel is a million billion bequerels, or 10 to the power of 15.

Of the total, 82 percent entered the sea before April 8, through water that was pumped into the Fukushima's damaged reactor units in a bid to cool them down, it said.

"This is the biggest single outflow of man-made radionuclides to the marine environment ever observed," the agency said in a press release.

Caesium is a slow-decaying element, taking 30 years to lose half of its radioactivity.

The IRSN said large quantities of iodine 131 also entered the sea as a result of the disaster, caused by the March 11 9.0-magnitude quake that occurred off northeastern Japan.

But decays quickly, having a half-life of eight days, and the contamination "swiftly diminished," the report said.

The IRSN said that, for the Pacific generally, caesium levels would ultimately stabilise at 0.004 becquerels per litre thanks to the diluting effect of powerful ocean currents.

This is twice the concentration that prevailed during atmospheric in the 1960s.

"These levels should not have an impact in terms of radiological safety," the IRSN said.

However, "significant pollution of seawater on the coast near the damaged plant could persist," because of continuing runoff of contaminated rainwater from the land, it said.

"Maintaining monitoring of taken in Fukushima's is justified," it said.

The IRSN cited deep-water fish, fish at the top of the marine food chain and molluscs and other filtrating organisms as "the species that are the most sensitive" to caesium pollution.

Explore further: 'Doing nothing' to maintain the dunes on Ameland does not affect coastal safety

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Greenpeace warns of radioactive sea life off Japan

May 26, 2011

Environmental group Greenpeace warned Thursday that marine life it tested more than 20 kilometres (12 miles) off Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant showed radiation far above legal limits.

Japan finds radiation traces in whales

Jun 15, 2011

Japanese whale hunters have found traces of radioactive caesium in two of the ocean giants recently harpooned off its shores in the Pacific Ocean, a fisheries agency official said Wednesday.

Fukushima caesium leaks 'equal 168 Hiroshimas'

Aug 25, 2011

Japan's government estimates the amount of radioactive caesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs, a news report said Thursday.

Radioactive ash found in waste plants near Tokyo

Jul 12, 2011

Japanese waste incineration plants near Tokyo have found high levels of radiation in ash, and officials said Tuesday it may be from garden waste contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Recommended for you

Australia approves huge India-backed mine

16 hours ago

Australia has given the go-ahead to a massive coal mine in Queensland state which Environment Minister Greg Hunt said Monday could ultimately provide electricity for up to 100 million Indians.

User comments : 17

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gunslingor1
3.2 / 5 (5) Oct 27, 2011
Nice try, but that is a blatant lie. The nuclear bomb tests were, BY FAR, more polluting than any nuclear plant could ever achieve. Even if the plant dumped its entire core into the ocean, it wouldn't compare to the damage and pollution caused by early nuclear detonation testings.

"...and radioactive isotopes of strontium and caesium from nuclear bomb detonations can now be found at depths of 1,000 meters

Atmospheric transport of pollutants is part of the transfer process from land to sea, and a significant contributor to marine pollution. There is the movement of fission products from nuclear weapons' tests through the stratosphere, with fallout of these radionuclides on virtually all parts of the globe, demonstrated how widely dispersed substances released into the atmosphere can become."
rawa1
1 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2011
I tend to believe this report. These crazy Japanese managed to dissolve half of active reactor in marine water in quiet.

But it's not the very first case in the history of nuclear energetic thought - for example Russians had dumped 1,5 megaCurie of radioactive waste in form of whole burn-off reactors at the Barents and Kara Seas.

http://www1.ameri...nsea.htm
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2011
The alleged lie is downplayed.
Tell us what remains.
What remains to be done.
kochevnik
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 27, 2011
Personally I prefer living in the shadow of nuclear cooling towers. That way there is no chance of being killed by a toppling windmill or falling off the roof tinkering with solar collectors. Solar cells are novel and that invites curious onlookers, who risk death while poking their nose in other people's business. Better to stay with something boring that takes 100,000 years to kill people off. I feel much better about statistically certain death than the off-chance of a freak accident, which has much more shock value. Ask anyone they'll tell you.

@gunslingor1 While that may be the case (I have no idea), Japan's heavily fished waters certainly pose a far larger risk to the population than the abandoned Bikini Islands.
Nerdyguy
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 27, 2011
"Nice try, but that is a blatant lie. The nuclear bomb tests were, BY FAR, more polluting than any nuclear plant could ever achieve." - gunslingor1

Other than your opinion, do you have any facts to back this up? And I'm curious if you could postulate as to the reason why the IRSN would "blatantly" lie about anything. Perhaps they are part of the Illuminati? Or, are they AGW deniers and this plays into their hands? Sounds like another Dan Brown book is coming with the IRSN featured!
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2011
rawa 1
:)

(The 'grace note' in music ...is 'the' "the" in this language. "The" is labeled as...the definite article)

"...in the quiet."
"...half of the active..."
"...in the form of the whole..."

This is purely a cosmetic error. I have three 'the's in German to deal with - and no German uses their 'the's without error anyway.
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2011
Kochevik
Most readers will make an effort to overlook the cynicism in your first paragraph. The open question remains:
Is this unintentional?
Isaacsname
not rated yet Oct 27, 2011
Japan is also prime territory for quite a few migratory species. The East AsianAustralasian Flyway, fish, insects, etc. I would think irradiated birds and fish would spread things like cesium further, faster than wind and water currents ?

kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2011
Most readers will make an effort to overlook the cynicism in your first paragraph. The open question remains:
Is this unintentional?
Nobody rebutted that POV so I infer that the public swallows it wholesale, along with all the other predigested plutocratic garbage in their factoid diet. Many have evolved beyond a concern for the truth. They prefer truthiness.
Callippo
1 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2011
Personally I prefer living in the shadow of nuclear cooling towers.
If the cold fusion wouldn't exist, then I would share similar opinion - but today it's not really necessary.
Skepticus
3 / 5 (4) Oct 28, 2011
Kudos to the retard politicos and militants tree huggers for preventing the implementing of newer and safer nuclear reactor designs. The blood is on their hands, the stupid bastards!
cdt
3 / 5 (6) Oct 28, 2011
Kudos to the retard politicos and militants tree huggers for preventing the implementing of newer and safer nuclear reactor designs. The blood is on their hands, the stupid bastards!


Because of course we all know that militant tree huggers forced utilities to build outdated reactors in the first place and that building a new reactor always leads to old reactors immediately being decommissioned. Right.
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2011
Because of course we all know that militant tree huggers forced utilities to build outdated reactors in the first place and that building a new reactor always leads to old reactors immediately being decommissioned. Right.

Yeah, the airbags were invented to make more money from selling cars. The politicos in cahoot/pay of the industry made sure there will be no political will nor regulatory frameworks for mandated obsolescence of dated designs, the ill-informed; biased and prejudiced anti-nuclear activists also rapturously worked in concert (the paranoid may say they are puppets of the other two) to made sure none of the improvements will ever see daylight. By maintaining this bastardy clever scam, the politicos-industry cabal can screw the last pennies out of their dangerous plants by keeping the supply of energy limited (and thus expensive), while the activist scammed and scared the public into believing they are doing the public good.
Nerdyguy
2 / 5 (4) Oct 28, 2011
Kudos to the retard politicos and militants tree huggers for preventing the implementing of newer and safer nuclear reactor designs. The blood is on their hands, the stupid bastards!


This is dead on. The best businesses and scientific minds alike were forced to back off from this technology for decades for one reason: fear-mongering by a group that, while their intentions may have been good, was terribly ill-informed. Unfortunately, they counted among their numbers some very prominent and influential people.

Nuclear energy is one of the very few technologies which offers a realistic, economical and easily-scaled-up solution for our energy needs. It's very difficult to understand how so many people can be "against" coal, oil, etc. due to their penchant to create pollution, and yet run in fear from nuclear because it has the potential for "scary" results. Should we all just use personal paste-on solar panels?
kochevnik
3 / 5 (2) Oct 28, 2011
Kudos to the retard politicos and militants tree huggers for preventing the implementing of newer and safer nuclear reactor designs. The blood is on their hands, the stupid bastards!
I think nuclear energy could be made safer by installing the reactors in YOUR living room. Then you wouldn't need to guilt trip.

@Nerdyguy Do you get paid to troll?
Nerdyguy
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2011
"@Nerdyguy Do you get paid to troll?" - kochevnik

Three things come to mind:
1) Dang, I wish. I'd appreciate the extra source of income.

2) I find it utterly fascinating that you have decided to pick a completely personal fight with me. Did you happen to notice that I was merely agreeing with another commenter? Perhaps you should share your nasty rhetoric, spread it around a little. For some reason, I have said something that offends you deeply, and your response has been to "follow" me around on multiple forums and attempt to denigrate my character.

3) I couldn't help but notice that you actually failed to address the points made by me or by the other commenter (with whom I was only agreeing). Beyond personal attacks, do you have anything at of relevance to add? Any reason to suggest that my comments or the other commenters' were off the mark? Or rather, have they just hurt your "feelings"?
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2011
Kudos to the retard politicos and militants tree huggers for preventing the implementing of newer and safer nuclear reactor designs. The blood is on their hands, the stupid bastards!
I think nuclear energy could be made safer by installing the reactors in YOUR living room. Then you wouldn't need to guilt trip.

@Nerdyguy Do you get paid to troll?

@kochevnik
Sure, i am prepare to live in the same house with the present obsolete nuclear reactors, the same as you will be willing to seat in the dummy's car 50mph crash test without an airbag. Are you game?