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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Too much cesium in fish

July 3, 2012

High level of radioactive cesium detected in Fukushima freshwater fish



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Environment Ministry said Monday it detected 61 to 2,600 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in 23 varieties of freshwater fish sampled at five rivers and lakes in Fukushima Prefecture between December and February.

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis, the government reduced the level of radioactive cesium deemed safe for consumption to a maximum of 100 Bq/kg for fish, meat and other food items.

A kind of goby taken from the Mano River in Minamisoma, located north of the crippled nuclear plant, showed 2,600 Bq/kg, according to the ministry.

Marine fish, in contrast, logged lower levels, apparently due to the different way in which the radioactive substance builds up in their systems, the ministry said.

In 31 marine fish samples taken at three locations off Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, cesium levels ranged from 2.15 to 260 Bq/kg.


High cesium levels in Fukushima freshwater fish



Japan's Environment Ministry says it detected higher levels of radioactive cesium in freshwater fish than marine fish in disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture.

The ministry on Monday released the results of its study conducted from December last year to February this year. It took freshwater samples in rivers and lakes, as well as at 8 locations in the open sea.

The highest amount of cesium, 2,600 Becquerels per kilogram, was found in a goby freshwater fish taken from a river that flows from Iitate Village to Minamisoma City, north of the crippled plant.

Some water bugs, which freshwater fish eat, also showed high levels of 330 to 670 Becquerels per kilogram.

A type of flounder and bass caught off Iwaki City, south of the plant, registered 260 Becquerels per kilogram-- the highest level for marine fish.

A ministry official spoke about the differences in cesium levels in freshwater and marine fish. The official said marine fish are likely to get rid of cesium from their bodies more quickly as they have the ability to excrete salt.

The ministry will closely monitor freshwater fish as radioactive cesium may remain in their bodies for a longer period.

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