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Radiation in Tuna Triples After Fukushima, New Study Says

Elizabeth Renter
June 9th, 2014
Updated 06/09/2014 at 12:02 pm
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radiation tuna toxic 263x164 Radiation in Tuna Triples After Fukushima, New Study SaysYou’re right to be concerned about the effects of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 and beyond. The power station in Japan failed miserably following an earthquake, sending radioactive waste into the ocean at amounts still not fully understood. Recently, a study from researchers with Oregon State University has affirmed the spills have affected sea life and Albacore tuna in particular.

Published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the research, led by Delvan Neville of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics of the University, says there are notable effects of the Fukushima disaster being felt by tuna caught off the coast of Oregon.

“You can’t say there is absolutely zero risk because any radiation is assumed to carry at least some small risk,” said Neville. But, he says, the amounts aren’t enough to pose a risk to consumers.

Neville and his team of researchers examined tuna caught off the Oregon coast between 2008 and 2012. In other words, they had tuna before Fukushima occurred and up to the year following. At the most extreme level, the radioactive isotopes tripled from the pre- to post-Fukushima samples. Neville says this isn’t enough to be harmful.

“A year of eating albacore with these cesium traces is about the same dose of radiation as you get from spending 23 seconds in a stuffy basement from radon gas, or sleeping next to your spouse for 40 nights from the natural potassium-40 in their body,” he explained. “It’s just not much at all.”

Read: Fukushima Fish Have 258x ‘Safe’ Level of Radiation

Not everyone’s convinced.

Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences say the worst is yet to come and that the most highly radioactive water hasn’t reached our shores yet.

Some estimates say the water could be 10 times stronger when it reaches the U.S. shores than it was when it left Japan. Others, say it’s diffusing. One thing is for certain, the radioactive contamination is still traveling in ocean currents, the long-term effects of which remain to be seen.

From around the web:

  • jeff4justice

    Fukushima Radiation No Threat To Alaskan Fishing Says Deadliest Catch’s Scott Campbell

  • Bullwinkle O. Mooch

    I’m surprised our Federal government isn’t importing the contaminated water from Japan and dumping it in Arizona.

  • George Henry

    I stopped eating tuna 20 years ago due to the elevated levels of mercury. Now we’re beginning to see elevated levels of cesium and other radioactive isotopes none of which are safe to consume. This is a world wide disaster that is just going to get worse.

  • Al

    What about Ocean’s tuna and/or Queen of the Ocean (vietnam)? Ocean’s is supposed to be the better one.

  • Dave

    What bothers me is that nothing is really being done to stop the tons of radioactive, surface and ground, water into the Pacific each day.
    Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon, and senior member of the US energy committee, visit the Fukushima plant after the disaster and expressed his concerns to the US Senate. he stated that Japan isn’t moving fast enough to remove dangerous nuclear-fuel rods
    from the reactors, and the U.S. should offer its help to speed things
    along. Still nothing is really being done.
    If things gets worse it can effect the whole worlds Eco-system.

  • Rainwaterrunningdog

    There is NO safe dosage/amount/milligram of radiation in food. None!