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'Radioactivity found in Swiss lake' near nuclear plant

'Radioactivity found in Swiss lake' near nuclear plant | Radioecology | Scoop.it

Scientists have discovered a radioactive substance in sediment under a Swiss lake used for drinking water and situated near a nuclear plant, the Le Matin Dimanche weekly reported Sunday


Via Juan Carlos Hernandez
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WORLDWIDE: Fukushima radioactivity not a health risk

WORLDWIDE: Fukushima radioactivity not a health risk | Radioecology | Scoop.it

New research has shown that radiation found in tuna contaminated by the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident poses the same threat to consumers as from one dental x-ray.

 

In 2012 Nicholas Fisher from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University and colleagues reported that they had detected radioactivity in Pacific bluefin tuna swimming off the California coast, caused by the Fukushima disaster.

 

Now they have conducted follow up research on the possible risks to seafood consumers posed by the levels of radioactivity found in the tuna, and concluded that the likely doses of radioactivity ingested by humans consuming the contaminated fish, even in large quantities, is comparable to, or less than, the radiological dosages associated with other commonly consumed foods, many medical treatments, air travel and other background sources.

 

The authors also conclude that contamination of Pacific bluefin tuna and other marine animals from Fukushima poses little risk to these animals.

 

Professor Fisher and colleagues found that the sampled tuna contained elevated levels of radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137, important components of the radionuclide mix released at Fukushima.

 

The levels of Fukushima-derived radionuclides in marine biota, including Pacific bluefin tuna, were compared with the radiation doses from naturally-occurring radionuclides in the same organisms.

 

The principal radionuclide found in all samples is polonium (specifically the isotope 210Po), a naturally-occurring isotope that is an alpha-emitter, which causes greater biological damage.

 

“For American and Japanese seafood consumers, the doses attributable to Fukushima-derived radiation were typically 600 and 40 times lower, respectively, than the dose from polonium,” said Professor Fisher. “In estimating human doses of the Fukushima-derived radioactive cesium in bluefin tuna, we found that heavy seafood consumers – those who ingest 124 kg/year, or 273 lbs., which is five times the US national average – even if they ate nothing but the Cs-contaminated bluefin tuna off California, would receive radiation doses approximately equivalent to that from one dental x-ray and about half that received by the average person over the course of a normal day from a variety of natural and human sources.

 

The resulting increased incidence of cancers would be expected to be essentially undetectable.”

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