According to The New York Times:
“Both Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and the government say the largest continuing problem, the water releases, is not a cause for concern, because the radiation is diluted in the vast Pacific, limiting any potentially dangerous effects to the plant’s artificial harbor. But while scientists agree that dilution has made radiation levels outside the harbor, and even some places inside, low enough to pass drinking water standards, they say there are worrisome problems that may be the result of new leaks.
Besides the discovery of widespread radioactive hot spots, the government’s fisheries agency said that more than 1 in 10 of some species of bottom-feeding fish caught off Fukushima are still contaminated by amounts of radioactive cesium above the government’s safety level.”
Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution concurs that because of dilution, which occurs even a short distance from Fukushima, he does “not have concern about the levels of cesium and other radionuclides in fish off the West Coast of the U.S.” He explains that “diffusion is helped along by ocean eddies, squirts, and jets that broaden, mix, and continue to dilute the cesium as it travels across the ocean. With distance and time, radionuclide concentrations become much lower in the ocean, something that our measurements confirm.”
But what about fish that travel long distances, such as the bluefin tuna? These fish migrate and can presumably arrive at the U.S. coastline completely contaminated. Is there cause for concern? According to Buesseler, apparently not: Dental x-rays have higher levels of radiation.
Nevertheless, on the other side of the globe, in the US, those who are abundantly cautious are restricting or eliminating their consumption of fish altogether. Others are turning to freshwater fish only, such as trout, while avoiding crustaceans, such as shrimp. Perhaps these precautions are due to evidence indicating it will take the radiation approximately three years to fully hit the West Coast—or until March 2014. In others words, the worst-case scenario has yet to happen.
Furthermore, contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been running off into the Pacific Ocean at the rate of hundreds of tons per day, which was enough to make the Japanese government issue a statement in September that characterized the situation as “urgent”.
In October 2011, the journal Nature published an article that estimated Fukushima emissions to be considerable—more than double that of Chernobyl and certainly more than the official estimates from the Japanese government. That evidence alone belies claims that the radiation levels from Fukushima are “too low” to cause harm to humans.
Like Chernobyl, the full impact of Fukushima’s toll on human health and the environment will be decades in the making. Meanwhile, a more immediate challenge looms: Nuclear engineers will begin the arduous and dangerous task of removing tons of hazardous spent uranium and plutonium fuel at Fukushima.
Ultimately, it’s a mixed bag with scientists on one side of the aisle claiming that fish is safe, while scientists on the other side of the aisle have already sounded the alarm. It’s impossible to make a clear assessment, but it’s plausible to think that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
As an aside, large amounts of the mineral zeolite have already been deployed at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. This mineral forms when lava meets sea water; it traps radioactive particles inside its negatively charged, cage-like structure. Positively charged radioactive particles are attracted to zeolite and trapped inside.
In the past, zeolites were used at the site of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl for decontaminating radioactive cesium and strontium from water sources. Zeolite is currently being used in the Pacific Ocean near contaminated water outlets. If you are interested in detoxifying your body of radioactivity, consider ZEOLITE—featured as a related product.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. These views do not necessarily reflect those of HoneyColony or its staff.