Record Levels of Radiation Found in Fish near Japan’s Fukushima Plant


Danielle Demetriou – The Telegraph

Record levels of radiation contamination have been found in fish near Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant.

One fish, a greenling measuring 38 cm in length, was contaminated with 740,000 becquerels per kg – more than 7,400 times the recommended government limit regarded as safe for human consumption.

The discovery is likely to reignite fears that Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may still be leaking radioactive contamination into the ocean more than two years after it was damaged in a major earthquake and tsunami.

Following the disaster on March 11, 2011, the plant suffered a series of explosions and meltdowns, resulting in radiation contamination seeping into the atmosphere, earth and ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Plant (TEPCO), operators of the damaged plant, recently discovered the contaminated fish during a project aiming to contain sea creatures in the immediate vicinity.

The fish was caught in a cage inside a port next to the power plant, while a net has also been installed on the seafloor as part of operators’ efforts to prevent the wider spread of contamination.

Commercial fishing has been banned along the Fukushima coastline, although the discovery of contaminated fish outside the region continues to fuel concerns that the radiation has spread further afield.

Bluefin tuna caught as far afield as California have tested positively for caesium contamination, confirming that radiation from the disaster has been carried around the world by migrating fish.

An extensive clean-up programme remains underway after the world’s worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Authorities have warned that the process could take as long as 40 years.

A 19-mile exclusion zone remains in place around the plant and as many as 160,000 evacuated residents have been warned they may never be able to return their homes.

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