Still Safe Though Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Migrated from Japan to US

 Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

“We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that’s still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments.

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Doubting Government, Japanese Screen for Radioactivity on Their Own

Kiyoko Okoshi had a simple goal when she spent about $625 for a dosimeter: she missed her daughter and grandsons and wanted them to come home.

Local officials kept telling her that their remote village was safe, even though it was less than 20 miles from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But her daughter remained dubious, especially since no one from the government had taken radiation readings near their home.

So starting in April, Mrs. Okoshi began using her dosimeter to check nearby forest roads and rice paddies. What she found was startling. Near one sewage ditch, the meter beeped wildly, and the screen read 67 microsieverts per hour, a potentially harmful level. Mrs. Okoshi and a cousin who lives nearby worked up the courage to confront elected officials, who did not respond, confirming their worry that the government was not doing its job.

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Flower Power: Sunflowers to clean radioactive soil in Japan

Campaigners in Japan are asking people to grow sunflowers, said to help decontaminate radioactive soil, in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed Marchs massive quake and tsunami.Volunteers are being asked to grow sunflowers this year, then send the seeds to the stricken area where they will be planted next year to help get rid of radioactive contaminants in the plants fallout zone.The campaign, launched by young entrepreneurs and civil servants in Fukushima prefecture last month, aims to cover large areas in yellow blossoms as a symbol of hope and reconstruction and to lure back tourists.

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Crews at Fukushima nuclear plant start decontaminating radioactive water

Emergency crews at Japans Fukushima nuclear plant Friday prepared to start decontaminating more than 100,000 tonnes of highly radioactive water from three months of reactor cooling operations.Embattled operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. TEPCO said the system, which employs US and French technology, would go fully operational by the evening after a water leak during a test run the previous night had been fixed.The operation kicks off months after a 9.0 magnitude quake triggered a tsunami that smashed into the plant. The wave knocked out reactor cooling systems, which sparked meltdowns, explosions and radiation leaks.

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Gov’t to OK incinerating, burying radioactive rubble in Fukushima

The Environment Ministry plans to allow incinerating or burying rubble from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the coastal and central parts of Fukushima Prefecture that could be contaminated with radioactive material spewing from a damaged nuclear power plant in the northeastern prefecture, ministry officials said Sunday.

While the ministry already allows 10 municipalities where contamination levels are low to handle debris under normal procedures, it has decided to expand the eased restrictions to other parts of the prefecture, except for the government-designated off-limits and evacuation areas

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Japan – Radioactive steam could be released from troubled nuclear plant

Japanese authorities are nearing a decision to release radioactive steam from a troubled nuclear reactor, industry minister Benri Kaieda said Saturday.Kaieda was referring to the rising pressure inside the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, which was hit by a powerful earthquake Friday.

Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa on Friday ordered the Self-Defense Forces to act in response to the state of atomic power emergency declared following a powerful earthquake.

The SDF will send aircraft on a fact-finding mission near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant as some 3,000 residents nearby have been ordered to evacuate due to a problem with a cooling system detected at one of its reactors.