Tuna study hints Fukushima plant still emits radiation

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      For years, Health Canada has been recommending limits on the amount of tuna people should eat to avoid mercury poisoning.

      The general advice is to consume no more than 150 grams per week of either  tuna, shark, swordfish, escolar, marlin, or orange roughy.

      However as the Straight has previously reported, Health Canada has not gotten too worked up about radiation levels in tuna as a result of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

      This is in spite of a recent article on the Forbes website about a Pacific bluefin tuna study. It hints that radiation may still be spewing from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors into the Pacific Ocean.

      Forbes staff writer Monte Burke notes the study's conclusion that tuna excrete radiation from muscle tissue as they swim to California.

      Here's what's disturbing: these migratory fish continue showing up with radiation in their bodies after crossing the ocean.

      "That means, ultimately, that there is still a high level of radiation in the waters near the Fukushima plant most likely because, as marine chemist, Ken Buessler, asserts, the plant is still leaking radiation into the ocean nearly two years later," Burke writes.




      Feb 21, 2013 at 9:30pm

      How many times do we have to go over this? Radiation is energy. It is not excreted; it does not accumulate in tissue; it is not something that can “leak into the ocean”. What was released from Fukushima was radioactive material. There is a difference, and no article that fails to distinguish between the two can be considered credible from a scientific standpoint.

      Martin Dunphy

      Feb 21, 2013 at 10:53pm

      ACME: With respect, if there is a crack in shielding, it is not improper, in an article written in layman's terms, to say that radiation "leaked" through.
      Also, when radioactive water or another liquid finds its way into the ocean, it verges on the anal to find fault with a nonscientific article that says radiation is "leaking into the ocean".
      Unless, of course, it is important to you to be technically correct, which, as Hermes' boss in <em>Futurama</em>, Bureaucrat 1.0, says, is "the best kind of correct".


      Feb 22, 2013 at 2:49am

      Radiation does accumulate in tissue - hot particles are a good example. There are some good pics on the Fairewinds.com site of hot particles lodged in the lung tissue of an ape.

      With fish, one has to consider bio-accumulation and bio-magnification.

      Transport vectors for radiation include ocean, rain, mist, snow, pollen, ocean spray, air - many ways it can get to you. These are man-made particles that never go away, some for billions of years. One single ingested hot particle can do damage. (People on the West Coast were getting about 6 particles each a day during March and April, 2011).

      Radiation definitely is leaking into the ocean - big time. The Kuroshio Current will carry it to Alaska and beyond - a mix of over 250 different isotopes. Latest results show they don't so much dissipate as get suspended in ocean water - and that includes Cesium-134 and Cesium-137.

      Seals around Alaska are apparently showing signs.

      Measurement of fish would have to carried out using a scintillating spectrometer - an expensive test. A geiger counter would only give external readings and not what the fish actually contains in terms of radionuclides.

      tony stephens

      Feb 23, 2013 at 9:42am

      Who in the world is giving thumbs down to martin and dvcon?? Don't know enough to verify comments, but make good sense and well presented.