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We post stories about the the Great 3.11 Disaster that occurred in Northern Japan in 2011.

Greenpeace Fukushima radiation research reveals serious marine contamination (source: Greenpeace and Bloomberg News)

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Press Release Greenpeace

Tokyo, Japan, 26 May 2011 – Greenpeace today slammed the Japanese
authorities’ continued inadequate response to the Fukushima nuclear
crisis, after new data from its radiation monitoring showed seaweed
radiation levels 50 times higher than official limits, raising serious
concerns about continued long-term risks to people and the environment
from contaminated seawater. In contrast, Japanese authorities claim
that radioactivity is being dispersed or diluted and are
undertaking only limited marine radiation monitoring.

Earlier this month, Greenpeace radiation monitoring teams on shore,
and on board the international environmental organisation’s flagship
Rainbow Warrior, collected samples of marine life including fish,
shellfish and seaweed outside Japan’s 12-mile territorial waters
and along the Fukushima coast. Detailed analysis by accredited
laboratories in France and Belgium found high levels of
radioactive iodine contamination and significantly high levels of
radioactive caesium in the samples.

“Our data show that significant amounts of contamination continue to
spread over great distances from the Fukushima nuclear plant”, said
Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace Radiation Expert. “Despite what the
authorities are claiming, radioactive hazards are not decreasing
through dilution or dispersion of materials, but the radioactivity is
instead accumulating in marine life. The concentration of radioactive
iodine we found in seaweed is particularly concerning, as it tells us
how far contamination is spreading along the coast, and because
several species of seaweed are widely eaten in Japan.

“Japan’s government is mistaken in assuming that an absence of data
means there is no problem. This complacency must end now, and instead
mount a comprehensive and continuous monitoring program of the marine
environment along the Fukushima coast, along with full disclosure of
all information about both past and ongoing releases of contaminated
water.”

Most fish and shellfish sampled by Greenpeace were found to contain
levels of radioactivity above legal limits for food contamination.
This is just one of the multiple, chronic sources of radiation
exposure to people living in the greater Fukushima area. In April, the
authorities raised regulatory limits for levels of radiation exposure
twentyfold to 20 milliSievert per year for all people – including
children.

“Ongoing contamination from the Fukushima crisis means fishermen could
be at additional risk from handling fishing nets that have come in
contact with radioactive sediment, hemp materials such as rope,
which absorb radioactive materials, and as our research shows,
radioactivity in fish and seaweed collected along Fukushima’s coast,” said Wakao Hanaoka, Greenpeace Japan Oceans Campaigner.
“Fishermen, their communities and consumers desperately need
information on how radioactivity affects their lives, livelihoods and
the ecosystems they rely on, and especially how they can protect
themselves and their families from further contamination.”

“Even if all the leaks caused by the Fukushima nuclear crisis were to
stop today, the radiation problem is not going to go away. A
long-term, comprehensive monitoring programme must be put in place,
decisive action taken to protect the health of fisherman, farmers and
consumers, and compensation given to all whose lives have been
destroyed by this disaster,” said Hanaoka.

ENDS

(picked up from Bloomberg News)

CONTACTS:
Greg McNevin, Greenpeace International Communications, +81 80 3930 3341

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Written by Nathalie Stucky

July 21, 2011 at 16:18

Posted in Humanitarian

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