Fukushima fish contaminated with radioactivity



London: A fish caught near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan had 2,500 times the legal limit of radioactivity for human consumption.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), which netted the fish, dubbed it 'Mike the Murasoi'. The company confirmed that it had radioactive cesium equal to 254,000 becquerels per kg, or 2,540 times the limit of 100 becquerels per kg limit set for seafood by the government.

A becquerel (BQ) is a unit of radioactive decay equal to one disintegration per second. The Becquerel is the basic unit of radioactivity used in the international system of radiation units, referred to as the "SI" units, the Daily Mail reports.

Scientists are increasingly worried that other fish in the area are feeding off these fish and other contaminated species. However, the murasoi specimen caught near Fukushima did not seem to show any major abnormalities in terms of its physical appearance.

Tepco is installing a new series of nets beneath the surface of the water around the 20 km perimeter in hopes of restricting the migration of the contaminated fish.

A report in October last year found radiation levels in most kinds of fish caught off the coast of Fukushima haven't declined in the year following Japan's nuclear disaster in March 2011. An earthquake knocked out the nuclear plant's cooling system, causing three reactor cores to melt and spew radiation into the ocean.

IANS