Korea, import radioactive Fukushima fish, WTO demands


This Associated Press video says about itself:

31 July 2015

South Korea is banning imports of all fishery products from Japan’s Fukushima region because of what it calls growing public worry over radiation-contaminated food that has reportedly prompted a sharp decline in fish consumption.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on Friday that it made the move because of Tokyo’s uncertain progress on stopping contaminated water from flowing into the ocean and worries about how the clean-up will advance.

“This measure is due to the public’s growing concerns regarding the fact that hundreds of tons of polluted water, coming from the recent accident scene of Fukushima nuclear disaster, is flowing into the sea everyday”, said government spokesman Shin Joong-don on Friday.

Seoul imposed a partial ban on Japanese fish following the March 2011 earthquake that led to the meltdown of a nuclear reactor in Fukushima.

The new measure now includes all fishery products from Fukushima and seven other nearby Japanese prefectures.

Japan has acknowledged that contaminated underground water has been flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Saturday, February 24, 2018

WTO tells South Korea to allow in Japanese nuclear fish

SOUTH KOREA said today that it will appeal against a World Trade Organisation (WTO) decision against bans on imports of Japanese fishery products after the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns.

The government said it wanted to protect public health and safety and would maintain its existing regulations on imports of Japanese seafood.

Japan had complained to the WTO about South Korea’s ban, saying it violated WTO rules, was discriminatory and served as a trade barrier.

In 2013, South Korea banned imports of all fishery products from eight Japanese provinces near Fukushima after Tokyo Electric Power reported leaks of radiation-contaminated water.

That tightened restrictions already imposed after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station in March 2011, when a tsunami wrecked the plant and caused its reactors to melt down.

It also required inspection certificates for food products from Japan if small amounts of radioactive cesium or iodine were detected.

China also bans seafood and other agricultural products from Fukushima and nine other prefectures, including Tokyo. It requires certificates on foods from the rest of Japan.

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Japan nuclear news update


This 2011 CNN video from the USA says about itself:

15 March 2011

Dale Bridenbaugh quit his job at GE [General Electric] to protest the Mark 1 nuclear reactor design used at a damaged Japanese power plant.

Japan court bars restart of nuclear reactor shut after Fukushima — Bloomberg: here.

Government and utilities shaken by high court challenge to public trust in Japan’s nuclear authority — The Japan Times: here.

Japanese officials are trying to decide what to do with thousands of tons of radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant: here.

High radiation levels are still limiting recovery work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, a stark reality that reporters saw firsthand when they observed efforts to remove risk factors there: here.

To serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, you must meet certain health and fitness requirements: you must be fit to serve. But a healthy group of young service men and women – many in their 20s – have come down with serious health problems since serving on a humanitarian mission to Fukushima, Japan, following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to a nuclear meltdown of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TepCo) nuclear power plant: here.

Fukushima disaster making Japanese monkeys ill


This August 2014 video about Japan is called Fukushima‘s Radioactive Monkeys..Remembering the A Bomb.

From Forbes in the USA:

Three Ways Radiation Has Changed The Monkeys Of Fukushima

Jeff McMahon

This year the evacuated residents of Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture began returning home, and as they resume their lives, the monkeys who have lived there all along have some cautions for them—in the form of medical records.

The Japanese macaques show effects associated with radiation exposure—especially youngsters born since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, according to a wildlife veterinarian who has studied the population since 2008.

Dr. Shin-ichi Hayama detailed his findings Saturday in Chicago as part of the University of Chicago’s commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the first man-made controlled nuclear reaction, which took place under the university’s football stadium in 1942 and birthed the technologies of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Hayama appeared alongside documentary filmmaker Masanori Iwasaki, who has featured Hayama’s work in a series of annual documentaries exploring the impact of fallout from the reactor meltdowns on wildlife. The fallout led the Japanese government to evacuate residents from a highly contaminated area surrounding the plant and extending to the northwest. The plume crossed the Pacific Ocean and left much diluted quantities of fallout across the United States, an event closely monitored on this page.

Since 2008, Hayama has studied the bodies of monkeys killed in Fukushima City’s effort to control the monkey population and protect agricultural crops (about 20,000 monkeys are “culled” annually in Japan). Because he was already studying the monkeys, he was ideally positioned to notice changes affected by radiation exposure.

“I’m not a radiation specialist,” Hayama said Saturday in Chicago, “but because I’ve been gathering data since 2008—remember, the disaster took place in 2011—it seems obvious to me that this is very important research. I’ve asked radiation specialists to take on this research, but they have never been willing to take this on because they say we don’t have any resources or time to spare because humans are much more important.

“So I had to conclude that there was no choice but for me to take this on, even though I’m not a specialist in radiation,” Hayama said, his remarks translated by University of Chicago Professor Norma Field. “If we don’t keep records, there will be no evidence and it will be as if nothing happened. That’s why I’m hoping to continue this research and create a record.”

Fukushima City is 50 miles northeast of the Fukushima-Daiichi Power Plant, so the radiation levels have been lower there than in the restricted areas, now reopening, that are closer to the plant. Hayama was unable to test monkeys in the most-contaminated areas, but even 50 miles from the plant, he has documented effects in monkeys that are associated with radiation. He compared his findings to monkeys in the same area before 2011 and to a control population of monkeys in Shimokita Peninsula, 500 miles to the north.

Hayama’s findings have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports, published by Nature. Among his findings:

Smaller Bodies — Japanese monkeys born in the path of fallout from the Fukushima meltdown weigh less for their height than monkeys born in the same area before the March, 2011 disaster, Hayama said.

“We can see that the monkeys born from mothers who were exposed are showing low body weight in relation to their height, so they are smaller,” he said.

Smaller Heads And Brains — The exposed monkeys have smaller bodies overall, and their heads and brains are smaller still.

“We know from the example of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that embryos and fetuses exposed in utero resulted in low birth weight and also in microcephaly, where the brain failed to develop adequately and head size was small, so we are trying to confirm whether this also is happening with the monkeys in Fukushima,” Hayama said.

And it appears that it is.

Anemia — The monkeys show a reduction in all blood components: red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, and the cells in bone marrow that produce blood components.

“There’s clearly a depression of blood components in the Fukushima monkeys,” said Hayama. “We can see that in these monkeys, that there is a correlation between white blood cell counts and the radio-cesium concentrations in their muscles. This actually is comparable to what’s been reported with children of Chernobyl.”

“We have taken these tests from 2012 through 2017, and the levels have not recovered. So we have to say this is not an acute phenomenon. It has become chronic, and we would have to consider radiation exposure as a possible cause,” Hayama said.

Hayama has appeared in several documentaries by Masanori Isawaki, who was 70 years old in 2011 and ready to retire from a thirty-year career making wildlife documentaries—he is best known for his portrait of “Mozu: The Snow Monkey”—when the Fukushima reactors melted down.

“Having turned 70 I thought, I’ve done enough, I can sit back. And then the nuclear disaster struck,” he said, his remarks also translated by Field. “I watched TV shows and read the newspaper for a year and kept asking myself, is there something left in me that I can do? A year later in 2012, with a cameraman and a sound engineer, the three of us just decided: In any case let’s just go to Fukushima, see what’s there.”

Since then he has made five films, one each year, documenting radiation impacts on wildlife, grouping them under the title “Fukushima: A Record of Living Things”. Two episodes were screened Saturday in Chicago, their first screenings in the United States.

At first Iwasaki documented white spots and deformed tails on the reduced number of barn swallows who survived after the disaster.

“It’s something we haven’t seen anywhere else but Chernobyl and Fukushima,” says the narrator of Iwasaki’s 2013 film, “so it’s clearly related to radiation. It probably doesn’t hurt the bird to have some white feathers, but it’s a marker of exposure to radiation.

“The barn swallows in Fukushima are responding in the same way as what we’ve seen in Chernobyl. The young birds are not surviving. They are not fledging very well.”

The white spots also turned up on black cows. Some types of marine snails vanished, then gradually returned. Fir trees stemmed differently, and the flower stalks of some dandelions grew thick and deformed. Dandelion stalks are a favorite food of Japanese monkeys, but the monkeys showed no obvious deformities, so Isawaki turned to Hayama to find out how radiation was affecting them.

Iwasaki’s 2017 film, just completed, is his first to investigate effects in the monkeys’ primate cousins, the humans: an unusually large number of children with thyroid cancer. ”

Radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster is accumulating in the sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away from the nuclear power plant itself, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on October 2. The study is the first to identify accumulations of radioactive cesium in this previously unsuspected place: here.

Chernobyl disaster radioactivity in Swedish wild boars


This video from the USA says about itself:

14 March 2017

In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, boars populations have skyrocketed. Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola, and Jordan Chariton, the hosts of The Young Turks, give you updates on the Fukushima disaster.

“Six years after an earthquake and tsunami led to three nuclear reactors melting down, Japan is still generating and struggling with staggering amounts of radioactive waste.

In November, the Japanese government said cleanup and compensation costs for the March 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster would be an unprecedented 20 trillion yen ($180 billion) — double the previous estimate. Nuclear safety may not come cheap for an industry that is increasingly noncompetitive nationally and globally, but lack of safety is very costly indeed.

Soaring costs and accumulating waste aren’t Fukushima’s only problems. While the government wants to start lifting evacuation orders on some towns within the 12-mile exclusion zone, potential returnees have to deal with hundreds of radioactive wild boars roaming the streets. Reuters reports that some boars have “levels of radioactive material 130 times above Japan’s safety standards.”

“After people left, their ecosystem changed,” explained one local hunter hired to deal with the boars. “They began coming down from the mountains and now they aren’t going back. They found plenty of food, and no one will come after them. This is their new home now.” More than 13,000 boars have been hunted so far.”

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, radioactive wild boar suddenly turn up in Sweden

Swine eat truffles containing radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986

More than thirty years after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, radioactive wild boar suddenly show up in Sweden. This is because the Swedish boar now comes to places in nature where they did not dare until recently.

By Eric Van Den Outenaar October 9, 2017, 19:06

Nature areas in the middle and north of Sweden received a big radioactive cloud during the spring of 1986 from Ukraine. As a result, no berries and mushrooms were allowed to be picked for a long time. Most plants and animals have recovered.

For the wild boars, however, things go from bad to worse. …

The highest measured radioactivity in a wild boar so far is 16 thousand becquerel per 1,000 grams of pork, reported the Swedish public broadcaster SVT. At 10 thousand becquerel per 1,000 grams, the Swedish Food and Food Authority considers the eating of wild pork irresponsible.

Fukushima disaster radioactivity below Japanese beaches


This video says about itself:

BBC News: Toxic radioactive isotope found in Fukushima groundwater

19 June 2013

High levels of a toxic radioactive isotope have been found in groundwater at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator says.

By Laurel Hamers, 3:30pm, October 2, 2017:

Radioactive material from Fukushima disaster turns up in a surprising place

Some of highest levels of cesium-137 contamination are in groundwater under nearby sandy beaches

Six years after the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in Japan, radioactive material is leaching into the Pacific Ocean from an unexpected place. Some of the highest levels of radioactive cesium-137, a major by-product of nuclear power generation, are now found in the somewhat salty groundwater beneath sand beaches tens of kilometers away, a new study shows.

Scientists tested for radioactivity at eight different beaches within 100 kilometers of the plant, which experienced three reactor meltdowns when an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, knocked out its power. Oceans, rivers and fresh groundwater sources are typically monitored for radioactivity following a nuclear accident, but several years following the disaster, those weren’t the most contaminated water sources. Instead, brackish groundwater underneath the beaches has accumulated the second highest levels of the radioactive element (surpassed only by the groundwater directly beneath the reactor), researchers report October 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the wake of the 2011 accident, seawater tainted with high levels of cesium-137 probably traveled along the coast and lapped against these beaches, proposes study coauthor Virginie Sanial, who did the work while at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Some cesium stuck to the sand and, over time, percolated down to the brackish groundwater beneath. Now, the radioactive material is steadily making its way back into the ocean. The groundwater is releasing the cesium into the coastal ocean at a rate that’s on par with the leakage of cesium into the ocean from the reactor site itself, Sanial’s team estimates.

Since this water isn’t a source of drinking water and is underground, the contamination isn’t an immediate public health threat, says Sanial, now a geochemist at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. But with about half of the world’s nuclear power plants located on coastlines, such areas are potentially important contamination reservoirs and release sites to monitor after future accidents.

Botched gauge settings might have contaminated Fukushima groundwater from April onward: Tepco — The Japan Times: here.

A court ruled TEPCO and the Japanese government are at fault in the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.