Coming to a Store Near You: Radioactive Fish? → Washingtons Blog
Coming to a Store Near You: Radioactive Fish? - Washingtons Blog

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming to a Store Near You: Radioactive Fish?

As I pointed out in April, the FDA is refusing to test fish for radioactivity, even though water currents will eventually bring debris from Fukushima:
The debris mass, which appears as an island from the air, contains cars, trucks, tractors, boats and entire houses floating in the current heading toward the U.S. and Canada, according to ABC News.

The bulk of the debris will likely not be radioactive, as it was presumably washed out to sea during the initial tsunami - before much radioactivity had leaked. But this shows the power of the currents from Japan to the West Coast.

Of course, fish don't necessarily stay still, either. For example, the Telegraph notes that scientists tagged a bluefin tuna and found that it crossed between Japan and the West Coast three times in 600 days:

Tuna migration graphic

That might be extreme, but the point is that fish exposed to radiation somewhere out in the ocean might end up in U.S. waters.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen doesn't think there will be a risk within the next year. But as the plume spreads across the Pacific, and as small fish get eaten by bigger fish (i.e. bioaccumulation), it would be prudent to measure radiation in fish caught off the West Coast of the U.S. (and Hawaii), and Gundersen suggests we contact our representatives and demand measurement:

Gundersen Discusses Current Condition of Reactors, TEPCO Claim of "No Fission" in Fuel Pool, and Lack of Radiation Monitoring in from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

The Telegraph confirmed recently that one year seems to be about the right time frame:

The waste will move at a speed of between 5 and 10 miles a day, catching the North Pacific Current and crossing the ocean in as little as 12 months.

Off the coast of California, debris is expected to circulate either north or south, taking either the Alaskan or North Equatorial currents back to the western reaches of the ocean.

Much is predicted to end up caught in the vortex of the Eastern Garbage Patch, which is estimated to measure between 270,000 square miles and 5.8 million square miles.

"Over time plastic debris eventually fragments into tiny particles creating 'plastic plankton' or 'microplastic,' which is a serious long-term concern, particularly for marine food webs." the organisation said.


  1. Yesterday's terrible event at Fukushima.

    The first two clips are color edited. I don't think they have been tampered with otherwise because the images (glow and flames) look exactly like what I witnessed yesterday

    Lucas Whitefield Hixson has some still shots that show the strange colored smoke emanating from this fire yesterday

  2. America deserves all the radiation it gets. You sell the designs and allow them to build on faults next to tsunami prone coasts.


    Cancer can be your friend. Genetic damage may benefit the human species.

    Eat it!


→ Thank you for contributing to the conversation by commenting. We try to read all of the comments (but don't always have the time).

→ If you write a long comment, please use paragraph breaks. Otherwise, no one will read it. Many people still won't read it, so shorter is usually better (but it's your choice).

→ The following types of comments will be deleted if we happen to see them:

-- Comments that criticize any class of people as a whole, especially when based on an attribute they don't have control over

-- Comments that explicitly call for violence

→ Because we do not read all of the comments, I am not responsible for any unlawful or distasteful comments.