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Fish in the sea, dilution is not a total solution to the problem

Now Japan is on a series of islands in the middle of the sea so even if a Chernobyl scale event was to occur then much of the despoilment of farm land which occurred after Chernobyl will not occur as the fall out would not land on the ground.

 

Instead it will land in the sea, due to the fact that water is always sloshing around the fallout will not be concentrated in the top few centimetres. I can tell you that in much of farming the action occurs in the top few feet of the soil, while the fish which live in the sea occupy a much larger volume per acre of sea than the roots of a typical food crop.

 

Now before you go out and celebrate the idea of “dilution as the solution to the problem” there is something you need to know about. Some organisms which live in the sea are able to concentrate some elements of importance into their bodies.

 

Seaweed is great at concentrating iodine; one classic way to obtain iodine is from seaweed. So it is possible that in some sea foods that the levels of radioactivity may become higher than the level in the sea water. So I think that the authorities need to keep a close eye on the levels of radioactivity in food.

 

The people of Japan tend to eat a lot of fish, so radioactive pollution of the sea could lead to a pollution of their national diet. The good news is so far that the level of radioactive contamination in fish has been very low. An examination of fish from Japan has shown very low levels of cesium-137.

 

The IAEA stated that in four out of five samples cesium-137 could not be detected while in one sample it was only 3 Bq per kilo.

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