May 28th, 2012
03:10 PM ET

Low levels of Fukushima cesium found in West Coast tuna

Scientists hope to test new samples of Pacific bluefin tuna after low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.

The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources - but well below levels considered dangerous for human consumption, the researchers say.

Cesium-137 has a radioactive half-life of about 30 years, and traces of the isotope still persist from above-ground nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and '60s. But cesium-134, which has a half-life of only two years, "is inarguably from Fukushima Daiichi," Stanford University marine ecologist Dan Madigan told CNN.

Madigan is the lead author of a paper published in this week's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. One of his co-authors, Nicholas Fisher, said levels of both isotopes detected in fish caught in August 2011 are one-thirtieth the amount of naturally occurring radioactive potassium found in all marine life. It's also about 2.5% of the more restrictive limits Japan imposed on fish caught for human consumption after the accident.

But neither thought they were likely to find cesium at all, they said. And since the fish tested were born about a year before the disaster, "This year's fish are going to be really interesting," Madigan said.

"There were fish born around the time of the accident, and those are the ones showing up in California right now," he said. "Those have been, for the most part, swimming around in those contaminated waters their whole lives."

Scientists don't yet know whether this year's catch will have more or less cesium in their bodies, said Fisher, a marine science professor at New York's Stony Brook University. The particles that blew into the ocean could have been diluted by the vast Pacific, or the fish could have taken in more of them as they grew up.

Even if there's no change, the presence of cesium in the fish can be useful for scientists like Madigan who track the migration of species like the bluefin.

"We've established that this marker can be used as a tracer to follow which fish came over from Japan," he said.

Before the accident, there was no trace of cesium-134 in bluefin tuna. And samples of West Coast yellowfin tuna, which tend to stay off the U.S. and Mexican coasts, show no signs of cesium today, Madigan said.

Pacific bluefin tuna are among the largest and fastest fish in the world. They're heavily fished and higly prized for sushi and sashimi; one nearly 600-pound specimen sold for a reported $700,000 at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market in January.

The samples Madigan, Fisher and colleague Zofia Baumann examined came from fish caught by recreational anglers near San Diego. The concentrations of both isotopes of cesium totaled about 10 becquerels per kilogram of dry weight, according to their findings.

By comparison, naturally occurring potassium-40 levels average about 350 bq/kg. A becquerel is a unit of radioactivity equal to one nuclear disintegration per second.

Madigan said the concentrations were likely higher in smaller fish, but shrank as the bluefin grew during their migration and processed some of the cesium in their bodies. Japanese government figures estimate cesium levels in fish caught off its shores at between 61 and 168 bq/kg.

"This year's study will be much higher sample size across a greater range of fish, ages and sizes," Madigan said. And if any fish are found with dangerous levels of radioactive material in their tissue, "It would be our responsibility to report it right away," he said.

The three operating reactors at Fukushima Daiichi melted down after the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, creating the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Most of the radioactivity released by the plant blew out to sea.

Last week, the plant's owner, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, raised its estimate of the amount of radioactive material released from the plant in the first weeks of the crisis to 900,000 terabecquerels - about a fifth the size of the release from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. A terabecquerel is equal to one trillion becquerels.

The revised figure more than two and a half times what was estimated in April 2011, when Japan declared Fukushima Daiichi a top-level event on the international scale that ranks nuclear disasters.

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Filed under: News • On Earth • Politics and Policy
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Pharmd729

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    August 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  2. Usman

    That ENEWS site is getting close to total drisegard for facts .just panic assumptions. That was NOT reactor 4 .now that makes a HUGE difference to say reactor 4 as opposed to storage pools or whatever that is because of what is inside reactor 4 building. They also said the crane fell over during the storm and that wasn't true either. I don't know what the heck is going on ..but I'm pretty sure they have to vent whatever is left of the cores to avoid an explosion

    July 1, 2012 at 4:07 am |
  3. L Leeman

    Another kind of reality check.....
    Hiroshima endured the detonation of a Uranium bomb directly above it.
    Nagasaki endured the detonation of a Plutonium bomb directly above it.
    TODAY...
    Population of Hiroshima is 1.2 million.
    Population of Nagasaki is 500,000 plus.

    June 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  4. hecep

    First, those Chernobyl-irradiated, wild boars, and now this. We're living in a low-budget 50's sci-fi movie. Cool.

    May 30, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  5. silvereagle

    can't post cnn doesn't want the truth to get out.

    May 30, 2012 at 6:01 am |
  6. Ian Welch

    Would you drink radioactive milk?

    There is not a news channel in the world that has not reported this story. It is an excellent example of the power of fear that immediately evokes change. I can assure you that no matter how adamant the experts are that the tuna is safe… it will make you think twice when putting in your sushi order. It is the same effect “Mad Cow” headlines create, it is immediate and swift.

    Radiation causes cancer and it does it very quickly.

    We eat foods everyday that have been shown to accelerate tumor growth, cause inflammation and promote the expression of carcinogenic genes.

    Casein is a known carcinogen. Casein makes up 87 percent of cow’s milk.

    Casein, an animal protein found in cow’s milk and used in products from cheese and protein supplements to paint and glue, has been found to cause cancer. Extensive research proves that casein, when found in excess of humans’ need for protein, causes a wide range of cancers.

    Casein makes up about 87 percent of cow’s milk. Dr. Colin Campbell, The China Study; states, “Casein is the most relevant carcinogen that humans ingest. It is more potent than DDT or dioxin.”

    The only thing we can control is to educate ourselves thoroughly on the dangers of GMO’s, chemicals, additives, preservatives and eat organically whenever possible.

    Full post: http://wholefed.org/2012/05/29/would-you-eat-radioactive-tuna/

    Ian Welch
    http://www.wholefed.org

    May 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Chris

      Holy smokes! Your are right! But it is worse! Casein is in ALL mammalian milk! Mother stop breast feeding your children! Oh wait, you totally misrepresented the study just to drive visitors to your website. Good fight Shepard. Good fight.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casein

      May 30, 2012 at 2:16 am |
      • Ian Welch

        Hardly a misrepresentation. If you spent more than a glance you will see that my site is entirely dedicated to a plant based diet.

        May 30, 2012 at 7:44 am |
  7. Solo

    I'm not a fan of sushi anyhow. Not worth the hype even before this report.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  8. Happy dude

    I LIKE BIRDS!

    May 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  9. Ryan in Texas

    The second largest nuclear disaster in the history of the world and no one dies? Wait, surely they can find fish with more than a 3% increase in radioactivity.
    If they want to make a story of this, they will have to do much better than that. More people will die today in the US due to public transportation. Should we end that?
    Considering 40 year old plants with 50 year old designs went through one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history – Nuclear power looks pretty safe. The new designs don't have to be shut down, they default to shutdown in any power loss. So with better location, and modern design – we have a very safe power source. People forget how dangerous airplanes once were. Technology has made flying safer than driving. But it still feels more dangerous. The exact same thing with nuclear power, seems more dangerous – but is actually safer.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • sean

      You are delusional if you think nuclear power plants are safe. Why don’t you just google Civilian nuclear accidents. Or better yet why don’t you go vacation in Chernobyl.

      May 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • Eddy

        Funny you mention Chernobyl. They are moving people back in to the surrounding area. Radiation levels have reached safe levels in most areas around the plant. Actually the whole evacuation zone turned into a nature preserve.

        May 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
      • Chris

        You know what! I did google it! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents The list isn't very impressive. Three people died in 1999 Northeast of Tokyo. Tragic. Perhaps we should look at a list of civilian petrochemical accidents?

        May 30, 2012 at 1:54 am |
  10. Happy dude

    BLAME IT ON THE RAIN, YEAH YEAH.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Jack

    Well, what else is going to show up in our food? Now that we have plastic from all the junk floating out there being found inside fish, and now this Fukushima radiation junk, how's about we toss in a mix of raw sewage, human body parts, the odd elephant, a dash of oil and some lovely green sludge. Can you say: mm mm good.

    I need a time machine so I can go back a few thousand years and live in relative comfort.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  12. J.C.

    "all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources"

    The 3% higher than normal radiation from the reactor will kill you. However, the other 100% naturally occurring radiation in tuna is perfectly fine (it's "all natural" after all).

    May 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  13. Tomk777

    Just add more mayonnaise and relish, we should all be just fine.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  14. Carolyn Doherty

    KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING. IT can only help! Get rid of nuclear, invest in alternative energy.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  15. Bob B

    Face it, the world is small and we have 7 billion people on it and soon everything will be no good for you.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  16. Josh

    "A terabecquerel is equal to one trillion becquerels."

    OK, what's a becquerels? I don't even know how to pronounce it. :D

    May 29, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Eddy

      1 Becquerel = 1 decay/second.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  17. learnusa

    OK so they found this out in august and they are just now choosing to inform us in May. really nice of them.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  18. Not All Docs Play Golf

    So then, this is what the rock band "Hot Tuna" is named for?

    May 29, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  19. Eddy

    3 times background.. really? This is not news, there is nothing dangerous about this fish.

    If you want a real story, look at the work being done at MIT that is showing that levels of radiation up to 400 times background have not shown to be dangerous. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/prolonged-radiation-exposure-0515.html

    May 29, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Luther

      Who do you work for Eddy? Starkist?

      May 29, 2012 at 9:41 am |
      • Eddy

        Conspiracy theorist, right? I'm just an informed citizen, not an irrational alarmist. Look at the facts, think about them, and then come to a conclusion.

        You do realize that your body is radioactive right? There are low levels of radiation in your body, at all times. Have you ever eaten a banana?

        May 29, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Ide.

      Then have all the tuna sent to your family and neighbors for consumption... casue I sure don't want any of it!

      May 29, 2012 at 9:43 am |
      • Eddy

        Wow, irrational fear. 10 Bq/kg, 10 decays per second per kg or 2.7×10^-10 Sv/kg (Cesium is a beta emitter, daughters are gamma emitters).

        The maximum dose for the public is 1×10^-6 Sv/year. So in 1 year you would have to ingest 3700 kg (10 kg/day) of tuna to even reach your yearly maximum dose. That is not factoring in the biological half life of Cesium which is 70 days, so you would have to eat even more.

        Educate yourself, stop submitting to fear.

        May 29, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • onestarman

      I live 50 Miles from the Nuclear Reservation that produced the PLUTONIUM for the MANHATTAN Project and the Cold War. All my Life I have seen and heard the NUCLEAR TROLLS that scurry out of their holes at ANY Mention of RADIATION in the MEDIA trying to Convince US that CANCER is just Nature's way of 'Shaking things UP.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:51 am |
      • learnusa

        And???

        May 29, 2012 at 9:57 am |
      • Eddy

        What is your point? Are you saying that they leaked plutonium into the environment around where you live? Do you have any proof of that or are you just saying it?

        And who said cancer is good? I'm trying to point out that there is no danger (radiation wise) from this fish. I'm also trying to point out that our bodies are a lot better at combating the effects of low level radiation than what is proposed by the accepted system, the linear no-threshold hypothesis. Low levels of radiation may not actually be bad for you.

        May 29, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  20. Eddard

    Before posting alarmist comments, learn the history of the Marshall Islands and what the USA has done there. The amount of nuclear materials spread and the destruction of environmental resources there make what happened at the fukushima incident nothing in comparison. If you have ever eaten fish from the pacific, you've probably eaten fallout from the US's bomb tests.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  21. Aezel

    Don't forget your tinfoil hat while you are "pantyraiding."

    May 29, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • christine

      If somone told you jumping off a bridge was safe would you?

      May 29, 2012 at 10:18 am |
      • gen81465

        Why settle for a bridge? Wouldn't the white cliffs of Dover be more suitable? After all; 10,000 lemmings can't be wrong, can they?

        May 30, 2012 at 5:03 am |
  22. RealityCheck

    Baby boomers are soon retiring... we can't afford them... Let them eat fish... Tell them it's okay to eat the fish...

    May 29, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • jane rogers

      And I suppose you have decided to never grow old since you think it's OK to debase the elderly. Think about this, you nitwit, without senior citizens you would not even exist.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • magnus

      LOL, your post made my day.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Thor

      OOPS! Sorry, this baby boomer has provided more free labor and services than many of you younger freeloaders from society will ever hope to provide. Perhaps you should heed your own advice balanced on the weight of your charity work?

      May 29, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Quinn

      +1 for the win.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      If you use a computer or an iphone....thank a boomer.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Hideki

      The radioactive dust will be so diteuld and spread out as it drifts across the pacific that it will essentially be undetectable above the ordinary every day background radiation.Most living things are affected by radiation in some way. Dogs and cats certainly are. There is no vaccine because vaccines are only used against bacteria and viruses. Radiation is neither of those things.The air is being continuously monitored by state authorities all along the west coast. If something abnormal is detected, then you will hear about it.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  23. CalmDownItsOk

    Words are easy. The truth... untold... BAHHHHH BAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    May 29, 2012 at 9:17 am |
  24. CalmDownItsOk

    Attention people: There is nothing to worry about. Everything is under control. Go back to your food supplies. We have the situation under control like any other situation.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  25. THETHOUGHTPOLICE

    Don't worry folks, get back in the chair, grab the remote and watch something worthwhile on t.v. We'll take car of everything...

    May 29, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  26. Nice Going Homer

    Way to go greedy corporate builders of mass destructive products. We are making our selves extinct like the animals on the planet slowly!

    May 29, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  27. Eric

    I don't like fish.....My least favorite kind of fish would be sole.....Yeah...sole...

    " I want to be home with my monkey and my dog.....I want to be home with my monkey and my dog........"

    Good evening everyone, this is K.A.O.S....Kaos coming to you live from the sunset strip....

    " I want to be home with my monkey and my dog.....I want to be home with my monkey and my dog........"

    Yeah yeah...Shut up....LOL...LOL.....

    May 29, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  28. PantyRaid

    You choose to believe whatever they tell you, sheep.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  29. jeepjeep

    i love this conversation. i eat dirt.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  30. Pgh

    Funny story... I have an older relative who eats sushi frequently.... but refuses to get a flu shot, ever, because of fear of mercury poisoning. There is no accounting for logic in this person's brain.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Kaiser

      Sushi doesn't mean it contains raw fish, it refers to the vinegared rice 'shari'.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  31. Conrad Shull

    The tuna has "about 3% higher than natural background sources – but well below levels considered dangerous for human consumption" making this a near non-story, interesting to researchers, but irrelevant to tuna eaters.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Andrew

      below harmful levels if you eat 1 serving of tuna. if you eat tuna regularly it will easily build up in your system.

      not to mention they don't list the levels of iodine isotopes.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:45 am |
      • JinxGT

        Iodine isotopes have a short half-life, in the magnitude of hours/days. Now a year later from the event, the amount of radioactive Iodine from the Fukushima Daichi event is negligible.

        May 29, 2012 at 9:32 am |
      • Chris

        I don't think you understand how half life works.

        May 30, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  32. Andrew

    Tunaman, Tunaman, does whatever a Tuna Can... ... Hey there, there goes a Tunaman

    May 29, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  33. Jamarkathe

    We should already have been cautious about eating tuna because it's one of the fish with the highest levels of mercury.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:43 am |
  34. reddog9500

    I'm more concerned about the giant garbage pile from the tsunami that is headed for our coast.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • PantyRaid

      I'll be treasure hunting and collecting human skulls.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  35. unowhoitsme

    When you see first hand the effects of family members slowly dying from nuclear fallout, you realize this isn't a laughing matter. How much does your brain, lungs, liver, and blood mean to you? It's effects "eat" you from the inside out...a science fiction movie that this REAL. All because $$$ is more important than human beings. At the rate we're destroying Mother Earth, there will eventually be no survivors.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Bill

      PLEASE do some REAL research, and learn some FACTS, before posting your alarmist and inaccurate views here! Radiation does NOT "eat" you from within. Cesium 137 is a beta and gamma producing isotope. The gamma particles will likely just shoot straight out of your body, leaving behind minimal damage. The beta particles, while more dangerous inside the body, actually are stopped by a single layer of flesh. The more prevalent danger will be in the heavy metal poisoning, and that ONLY IF you eat large amounts of tuna, and your body fails to flush the isotope out. Chances are, the mercury also found in tuna will kill you first.

      Be educated, not ignorant.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:31 am |
      • Russ

        Perhaps by effects the person is implying the resulting cancers that can occur from either isotopes or heavy metal exposures. I'd say your post is needlessly reactionary and alarmist.

        May 29, 2012 at 7:42 am |
      • Radiation Check

        Actually you are very wrong, Beta waves penetrate your entire body with ease (Usually steel/plywood/concrete is used to shield Beta). You are thinking of Alpha particles, they can be stopped by a sheet of paper or your outside layer of skin. Beta and Gamma are the "measure" of acquired radiation dose, usually measured with a thermoluminescent dosimeter worn on your person. The order of Radiation is Alpha->Beta->Gamma->Neutrons->Fission Products for heath risk and penetrating power. Small doses, researched proven, have no statistical increase in cancer rates. Put things in perspective a full body CT scan can expose you to more than 1000 mrem (1400-1800 is the range) and the NRC allowable radiation dose for nuclear workers is 5000 mrem (Some utilites have limits of 1000 mrem per year).

        May 29, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  36. Tom

    I wonder why my nose was glowing after that tuna sandwich I ate yesterday. Thought I was catching a cold and now I find out it's radioactive poising, what a relief, hard to get rid of a cold.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  37. Jt_flyer

    A couple more years and the blue fin tuna joins the dinosaurs and fades into history. ... With or without radiation.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:09 am |
  38. juice

    There are traces of radioactivities in potassium salt, granite, even in some ground water. Even the person sitting next to you might be radioactive–just the background radiation we're all exposed to everyday. But you won't hear these often from the media because they are not as interesting as radiation coming from Fukushima.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • newsrell

      Of course it is, but what's wrong about it ??? Fukushima was a recent event and fish radioactive level could be higher and affect human consumption. That is why research is needed to find out, and the research DOES CONFIRM that radioactive level is low (not dangerous for human consumption). I am glad to have this confirmation. You should learn to live more positively, not seeing everything as bad.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  39. mary

    People need to be aware of the radiation spread .. For the past year many people have expected this in the fish from the Pacific ocean..
    The spread is almost to the west coast of the United States..

    May 29, 2012 at 4:35 am |
    • mike rotchitches

      Relax... smoke a cigar. You're gettin' on my nerves.

      May 29, 2012 at 4:40 am |
      • juice

        oh wait...cigar might contain traces of radiation as well.

        May 29, 2012 at 4:45 am |
      • maestra730

        Funny! I like it.

        May 29, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  40. fghgf

    Cesium goes great with ginger and wasabi.

    May 29, 2012 at 3:28 am |
  41. atroy

    Tuna Melt!

    May 29, 2012 at 2:22 am |
  42. daftshadow

    just let these ppl are dont care, let them continue to eat tuna sushi and consume radioactive material that was left over from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • Steven Brooks

      What?

      May 29, 2012 at 4:29 am |
      • J.C.

        Don't mind him, Steven. His brain has been damaged by too much radioactive tuna.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  43. Sandra

    I READ ELEIZABETH'S COMMENT (S), DID YOU READ THEM?

    May 29, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  44. Andy

    Nuka-Tuna

    May 29, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  45. John

    Most people don't realize that they are made of radioactive substance–Carbon 14, which is the building block of life.
    Banana also contains radioactive mineral called potassium 21.
    The sun is a giant nuclear fusion reactor.
    And etc

    May 29, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • combatkelly

      Don't try to help the sheep with knowledge.Their heads explode.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:12 am |
      • BryanW

        Incorrect information isn't going to make anyone's head's explode.

        May 29, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • BryanW

      Actually 99 percent of the carbon in our bodies is carbon 12. Carbon 14 is only found in trace amounts in out body.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Hugo

      Carbon-14 isn't the "building block" of life. Carbon is. Some, a small fraction of carbon in living organisms is carbon-14. Most of it is carbon-12. After all, the atomic weight of carbon is 12.0107

      May 29, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • BryanW

      Potassium 40 is what is found in banana's. There is no such isotope called Potassium 21, the isotopes of K are 32-55. It would help if you would post factual information if you are trying to make a point. Also most of the k40 is expelled from the body hours to days after you eat it. Elements such as cesium, uranium, plutonium, strontium, will stay in your body for life and constantly bombard your internal organs, bones and muscles with alpha, beta, and gamma rays every day all day.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:30 am |
      • IdahoTom

        Bryan,

        Just like two evil doesn't make something right, two incorrect information won't make a point either. Although your comment isn't as wrong as (John's.) Potassium is a VERY common element found in human body and an average adult will contain 100 grams of potassium at ANY GIVEN TIME. That means your internal organs, bones, tissues are constantly bombarded by the radioactive isotope of potassium through your entire life. An analogy is water almost literally. Any water you drink will be expelled out of your system so that's why you have to keep on drinking it. Even though you expel a Potassium that you intake, you have to replenish your body with as muchPotassium to keep your body functioning right (and hence a net zero change in the radioactive Potassium isotope content in your body through your life average).. So your point of radioactive Potassium being less dangerous as Cesium isotope is a big nonsense. I think the wisest point to make here is, stop over reacting. Stop spewing half butt knowledge and further scaring people, and stop and smell the rose and the world and enjoy Earth, a giant radioactive ball of dirt that's providing geothermal heat to us and we cannot live without radioactivity. It's part of us. Plant a tree in your yard, give a compliment to others, get involved in charity, help others by means that doesnt require decades of training and education, but stop getting involved in something you have no idea of. If you want to, go to school, work in the field and become a specialist.

        May 29, 2012 at 2:53 am |
      • mike rotchitches

        Idaho Tom – It's kind of cute how you think you're being the voice of wisdom and reason. You're just being another obnoxious know-it-all. Try extricating your head from your but... maybe you'll be able to smell the roses a little better. Try taking your own advice.

        May 29, 2012 at 4:52 am |
    • mary

      Please people stop the nonsesne..
      Radiation is NOT good for anyone..No amount of radiation is good..
      We can't not stop natural radiation. .But we can stop polluting our earth with the radiation man is spreading all over the world.
      Man is responsible for creating massive amounts of dangerous radioactive by products.. It has to stop.

      May 29, 2012 at 4:39 am |
      • John1950

        Elizabeth you rock!

        May 29, 2012 at 6:22 am |
  46. combatkelly

    The sky is falling,the sky is falling. You folks are jokes.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • BryanW

      You will be saying that when #4 spent fuel pool falls and parts of the us are uninhabitable.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:06 am |
      • combatkelly

        I shall worry about it IF and WHEN.

        May 29, 2012 at 1:11 am |
  47. Aaron W.

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident has contaminated the food chain for the foreseeable future... and contrary to the implication made by the lack of media attention it has received of late, the crisis is not over there yet. There are still a number of things that could go wrong while they try to reign in the situation. The development of "mad cow" made beef not a smart choice; many have questioned the irradiation of pork with long-term human consumption; many have questioned the use of hormones in the production of industrial poultry and dairy products... now with our oceans contaminated, most of our sources for animal protein are questionable at best. Nuclear power is dangerous and should be phased out ASAP. Another 1-2 of these "accidents" and much of our ecosystem, our food chain, and potentially our own procreation will be at risk. Do we really need a third Chernobyl-like disaster before we 'wake up' and see that the risk of making areas of the planet uninhabitable is too great a risk?!?

    May 29, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • combatkelly

      The development of "madcow " made beef not a smart choice ? You have a better chance of getting hit by lightning while harvesting your organic turnips than catching madcow disease.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • bairkus

      It is remarkable how very little the fear-mongers know of relative risks.. At least they are well intentioned innocents, and really do believe in their own predictions.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Chuck

      Ignorant post. These accidents in nuclear power represent a mere blemish on a planet that sees more natural turmoil than we can ever cause. The 2 year half-life of cesium-134 hardly represents a long term threat to human or animal populations yet the radon gas formed naturally from uranium and thorium which have been around since the earth was formed and their most common isotope has a very long half-life (4.5 billion years). We had nothing to do with this yet we must live with it! Get your head out of the dirt. Instead of finding fault in humans endeavoring to advance and supporting regressive policy, find ways to adapt and help discover how to live in an advancing technological society. Eventually we will need to develop the technology to leave this planet because it will have naturally become uninhabitable. If we don't keep moving forward we will be extinct.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Alexander

      Aaron, it's a shame not many people think like you and me.
      Unfortunately you and me are writing comments on CNN while the idiots who actually decide on anything like the CEO of Tokyo Electric who decided to build a nuclear power plant near the beach of a high-incidence tsunami region are the ones who decide how to do things so that we can later comment about them on CNN.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • Jordan

      it depends how close your home is to the point of eisxoplon. If it's too close you'll be vaporized, if you're talking about protecting yourself from nuclear fallout, i dont think there's really that much you can do as far as homemade things are concerned.

      June 29, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  48. Michael M

    Nothing but Alaskan Salmon for me from now on.

    May 29, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • Steven Brooks

      Good luck with that – it's contaminated, too.

      May 29, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  49. Cambride Ray

    I am all for NUCLEAR!!!

    (fusion, that is :-)

    May 28, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  50. Fiona

    Vegetarian...make the change now!

    May 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • RIchard

      More people die of contaminated vegetables and fruits every year than meat or especially, low-level radiation. Wildlife is teeming around Chernobyl now, the only issues they've found are minor physical changes in mice and it's been 25 years.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:32 am |
      • BryanW

        You make no mention of all the deformed children on Belarus. A simple google search will show you examples of this.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  51. mysmartanswer

    Makes me wanna eat bacon now. Oh, wait, most hog harvesting plants stack the pigs and only feed the top one fresh food, while the others below in procession eat the excrement. Maybe I should become a vegetarian and grow my own crops. Well, dangit, the government is getting there hands into my land too. They want to control what I grow and limit it because it doesn't support our country economically. Daggum Monsanto trying to get every penny they can. Maybe I should just give up and try reincarnation on another planet. Oh, wait. Elvis already tried that and look what it got him. NOTHING but a memory.

    May 28, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • arthurrr

      God says there is no reincarnation...sorrry

      May 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
      • dude

        you talk to God? you might want to see someone about that.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Elizabeth

      It's a conspiracy to stop bees from dancing.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  52. darkhorse

    Granite from the Rocky Mountains puts us Coloradans at a higher risk of cancer, but the hippies in Boulder tell me these effects can be counteracted by dumping my entire paycheck into ethically raised vegetables from Whole Foods. THANK GOD.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  53. big brother

    What's clear from the Fukashima debacle is that nuclear energy has potential the erradicate the human race. radiation is so insdious and its spread cannot be controlled. Fukashime was not really that big bad an incident, and there cuold easily be amuch more severe one where a reactor blew its containing wall completely and spread its entire contents into the enviroment. Close all reactors now!

    May 28, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • FKell

      Interesting considering if you actually studied real science, you would know that you are exposed to more radiation working on a plane (pilot, crew), then working in a nuclear power plant. The average yearly exposure to a nuclear plant worker is 2.5x LESS than airline crews/pilots. In an ironic twist, people flying away from Three Mile Island were actually exposed to more radiation than those who stayed.

      May 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        Nor have you studied the effects of Three Mile Island on the people and animals that lived in that area, the rise in cancers, etc.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:12 am |
      • BryanW

        You obviously don't know the difference in external exposure vs internal exposure. Beta and alpha radiation do not pass thru our clothing and skin to our internal organs. Hot particles in our bodies is FAR more dangerous than the background radiation that we are exposed to on a daily basis. There is a big difference in radiation and radioactive particles.

        May 29, 2012 at 1:46 am |
      • Epidi

        I live in PA and was pregnant during the TMI incident. No nukies for me thank you very much! It was terrifying and Elizabeth makes a valid point. Our EPA is worthless because our entire govt is run by big corporations. It's ALWAYS all about the $ -NOT what is safer or makes more sense in the long run.

        May 29, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Elizabeth

      Real science says that spent fuel rods are still a great risk in a smaller earthquake than 2011. Fukoshima still has the potential (potential energy, as those rods are 100 feet in the air) of being 85 times worse than Chernobyl. If something isn't done fast, we might as well kiss ourselves goodbye.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:11 am |
      • bairkus

        I love such dire warnings as this. The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!! We're all gonna DIE! AAaaarrggghh!!!

        ..Real assessments of relative risk have no place in modern fear-mongering. Daiichi is an old plant that is well past its design lifespan, it was shaken by a major earthquake and then blasted by a massive Tsunami (of hitherto unimagined size) that killed 15,000 people. It sustained core melt-downs, yet no deaths resulted from its breaches, no cases of radiation sickness have occurred, there have been no life-threatening radiation exposures. Still the fear-mongers want us to kiss our butts goodbye. Compare that to our fear of dying in highway accidents?? – on roadways here in the USA 33,000 die each year and many times this number are permanently maimed and disabled, but that's just normal and safe living. Fear nuclear, but drive with a cellphone. Classic.

        May 29, 2012 at 1:11 am |
  54. pioscc

    Reblogged this on Registrar | Shoreline Community College.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  55. Michael

    The abbreviation for Becquerel should be written "Bq" not bq. Like many SI units, it is named after a person (Henri Becquerel) and therefore should be capitalized. 900,000 teraBequerels written more compactly is 900 petaBecquerels or 900 PBq.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  56. works4me

    I have, in the past, refused to eat raw tuna from the Atlantic. Now the Pacific too??

    May 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      Tuna is at the top of the food chain in the ocean. Unless you think that mercury is a vitamin, you might want to avoid it.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  57. slaveworld

    Nikola Tesla tried to show us the way but greed and jealousy of a few men (J.P. Morgan, Edison, Standard Oil) won out and he died a pauper's death. The ironic thing is, he invented the 21st century and hardly gets any credit.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • pwrphoto

      Interesting enough, we wouldn't be talking about nuclear power plants if Edison's power distribution system based on small power plants would have dominated over Tesla's concept of large power plants.

      May 28, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
      • dude

        Yes we would, AC technology would have won out in the end. Tesla was a genius and 10X the humanitarian that Edison was, but he's not the only one who could invent stuff. He probably just did it 20 years before anyone else. Also, he didn't have "free energy" like one of the previous posts claims, that just comes from whacky internet conspiracy theories and Tesla worshipers. He was just a man, a smart man, but a man, he couldn't create energy out of the air like these people always claim

        May 29, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Franklin

      The real tragedy is that Tesla's Martian communicators have apparently abandoned their planet.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  58. elusively2

    I've stopped eating. I'm living off love now. I think maybe I'll live longer.

    May 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • I'll join you.

      I'll join you.

      Do we still have meat inspectors or did they figure out some reason not to have them, not test anymore, or not test for that?

      May 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • elusively2

        I think we have meat inspectors, but they are so few in number that they cannot do the job. Most of them are in the office. Not good. Just bless your food before you eat it and thank the animals for giving their lives to nourish us. It can't hurt.

        May 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        Good question. Most "conservatives" got rid of "oppressive" government "regulation" because it might be bad for business. I want to be a corporate person too: they get to have laws changed for them; they don't every have to worry about being charged for murder, and best of all, they can do anything to any country they want and contribute to any campaign they want. What a deal!

        May 29, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  59. Smart Human

    No more sushi....:-( This world has really gone to shart! Kids getting chopped by axes in Syria, radioactive seafood, oil-soaked seafood, unemployment, what next?

    May 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Meki60

      its the Obama way

      May 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
      • McJesus

        I thank Jesus for disasters.

        May 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom

      Well, you do have death to look forward to.

      May 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • JustinFromNJ

      A banana is more radioactive than these fish.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  60. Meki60

    who cares, try to scare someone else. radioactive substances are present in everyday life from minerals in the ground

    May 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Smart Human

      @Meki60, not trying to scare anyone, simply stating facts. Are you scared? Why are you so scared?

      May 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Zwei Stein

      You ask "who cares" while your teeth are falling out of your mouth.

      May 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      So little logic! One plus one equals two. That is, some radon in your basement plus some fallout from tests and disasters equals twice as much to worry about, not the same amount. Better yet, add smoking to it, and it will intensify the effect, making cancer and lung diseases almost a sure thing.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  61. Ummm

    Glad we're hearing this now, considering the fish were caught in 2011...

    May 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • christine

      i know right? I dont eat tuna anyways because of mercury, but what about other fish?

      May 29, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  62. Geezer

    The fish were caught in August 2011 and we're only hearing about this now? Almost 10 months later?

    May 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Ummm

      Yeah, we were simultaneously posting the same point. Seriously W T F?

      May 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • mark glicker

      I got off the raw fish 4 years ago. I wasn't feeling real well after eating.

      May 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Ide.

      Thank yu ! m ysentiments exactly! Listen I am staying off the tuna in any way shpae or form. I bet whatever does not get used up at your local suzhi bar will be CANNED for us to eat nxt year. WHere is the FDA in all of this???????

      May 29, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  63. whybs

    On a positive note, the tuna has fewer parasites! :)

    May 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Dude

      Says someone who hasn't seen the movie "Attack of the Giant Leeches". :-)

      May 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
      • gen81465

        They said "fewer" leeches; not necessarily "smaller" leeches. Remember 1 tera-leech = 1 trillion regular leeches.

        May 30, 2012 at 4:58 am |
  64. RudyK

    How long before we end the madness of using nuclear power?

    May 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Michael M.

      I dunno... how long until the world either develops fusion, super-efficient solar panels, or stops requiring electricity?

      May 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
      • Dude

        Solar panels are a very poor method of using solar energy. They do have the big advantage of being easy to use at smaller scale, like a house. But, they are not efficient or cheap enough yet.

        Spain has developed a solar thermal system that stores heat underground and can produce power all night. An Australian developer has a system that uses refrigerant to run a generator and can run with a collector temperature of only 140F.

        If the cost of the wars that stem from oil are added to the cost of oil. And the cost of CO2 emissions are added to fossil fuels. And the cost of 250,000 years of waste storage and nuclear accidents are added to the cost of nuclear power. And so on. Then converting to solar and wind power becomes less expensive than continuing on our current costs. A lot less expensive.

        But, as long as society pays most of the real cost of generating power and power companies get to keep the profits, why should they change?

        May 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • bob

        dude, so much of that is unrealistic hype a generator that ran off of a 140F hotside would be VERY inefficient (unless run on the dark side of the moon maybe) – carnot's law is a mutha...

        May 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        Dude: Spain's system is up and running, and works. And it was paid for by the Saudis, which only goes to show that they aren't all into oil. The whole world will continue to be at each other's throats until we aren't panicked about sources of energy, food, and water. People need a little more sense about population too: 7 billion is a whole lot of people using those resources, and it is rapidly going up. Come to think of it, some people are making birth control more difficult to get right now; I wonder if they have a double-secret plan to feed all those extra mouths and provide all of them with energy?

        May 29, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Mike in AZ

      Whenever you're ready to scale back your electrical usage.

      May 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        AZ gets earthquakes too, but it has more solar energy than almost anywhere else in the U. S. of A.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Terran18

      Yes, Nuclear power is for idiots! It kills! Look at all of these nuclear mishaps that happened due to attempting to trying to use it! Fossil fuels and coal is safe and is good for the environment!

      May 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
      • Mike in AZ

        Let me guess, . . . You work for Exxon.

        May 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
      • Ide.

        Ok good for the environment? I think that all the coal burning smoke has gone to your head ! lol

        May 29, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Mike in AZ

      In the 'grander overall scheme of things', fossil fuels are killing us much more than nuclear. Billions of tons of particulates and greenhouse gases flow into the atmosphere from combustion related energy sources. Nuclear is small potatoes except in the news.

      May 28, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
      • jjoep199

        Don't forget the mercury released into the air from burning coal.

        May 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • jjoep199

      Yes, there have been disasters associated with nuclear power. However, no matter how the figures are calculated, the use of fossil fuels has led to many more deaths than has nuclear power. Deaths during mining, deaths on oil rigs, deaths from the pollution they cause. Personally, I'm all for renewable sources, like solar, wind power, tidal power, but those are still too expensive (besides having become just another political issue, rather than being judged on their merits).

      May 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
      • Elizabeth

        Remember Karen Silkwood. Nuclear cooks the books; it is far more expensive than you think, and extremely dangerous, both short-term and long-term.

        May 29, 2012 at 12:33 am |

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