A year and a half after an earthquake caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, experts have found that the plant may still be leaking radiation into the sea. Deep sea fish caught and tested in the Fukushima prefecture are still testing positive for radiation – which should have dissipated by now. The Tokyo Electric Power Co, which operates the site, did not confirm or deny the leak, but stated that the radiation levels were declining.
Although fishing in the Fukushima prefecture is prohibited, scientists regularly catch fish to test their radiation levels. The deep sea dwelling fish caught contained high levels of radioactive cesium 134 and cesium 137. According to Ken Buessler, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution of the United States, this high level indicates that cesium is still present in the water- pointing toward a continued leak. The Fukushima fish tested have displayed the same cesium levels as last year, which should have decline if the waters around Fukushima were not still contaminated.
When asked if the plant was not leaking radiation, the Tokyo Electric Power Co representative gave a puzzling answer, “Tepco cannot say such a thing, but we have confirmed that radiation levels are declining in both the sea water and seabed soil around the plant.” The company has not confirmed whether an investigation on the possible leak will be performed, but it is apparent that cesium is still be released to the fish around Fukushima.
Images via Wikimedia Commons