Seaweed and sewage

Reuters reports that Greenpeace has been collecting seaweed samples near the Fukushima nuclear plant, and has found high concentrations of radioactivity:
Seaweed collected from the coast near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant and sewage in Tokyo have shown elevated levels of radiation, according to data released by an environmental group and government officials on Friday.
The findings, released separately by Greenpeace and Tokyo government officials, underline the difficulty of containing the water-borne spread of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was seriously damaged by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, triggering a still-unfolding crisis.
The level of radioactivity is significant:
Greenpeace said that 10 of the 22 seaweed samples it had collected at sea near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had shown radiation levels as much as five times the standard set by Japan for food.
“Radioactive contamination is accumulating in the marine ecosystem that provides Japan with a quarter of its seafood, yet the authorities are still doing very little to protect public health,” Ike Teuling, Greenpeace radiation expert, said in a statement.
And, the Reuters story detailed the amount of radiation found in Tokyo sewage:
…government officials in Tokyo said radiation levels in sewage had spiked in late March. The data was released this week in conjunction with a new government standard intended to contain the spread of radiation in sewage.
Combined radiation levels of cesium and others in waste burned at the sewage treatment plant in Tokyo spiked to 170,000 Bq/kg in the immediate wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, officials said on Friday.
The radiation level was measured on March 25, just over two weeks after the earthquake.
Akiko Matsumoto, spokeswoman for the Tokyo Bureau of Sewage said the radiation figure is a composite of cesium and iodine levels.
The Japanese government did not set a guideline for radioactive material in sewage until Thursday, when they announced that any solid waste with a cesium level of 100,000 Bq/kg or above should be incinerated and then sealed in a container.


About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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