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Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Found off the Coast of California

Back in March 2011 a huge 9.0 earthquake caused a tsunami which hit Japan and severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant. After the earthquake all of the reactors were shut down, however the tsunami that later hit disabled the generators responsible for cooling the cores, causing a catastrophic melt down in three of the reactors which lead to explosions and the release of vast amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere and surrounding environment.

Scientists have now found fish off the coast of California with high levels of radiation due to the incident in Japan last year. Smaller fish and plankton have already been detected with high levels of radiation, but scientists predicted that in larger fish the radioactive material would be metabolised and traces would disappear quickly.

The discovery of high radiation levels in Bluefin tuna has caused a bit of a surprise. The concentration of radioactive cesium found in the tuna was 10 times higher than normally found in previous years.

Each year the Bluefin Tuna travels 6,000 miles from its spawning grounds off the southern coast of Japan, across the Pacific Ocean to the coasts of California and Mexico, although the exact movements are unknown. By studying the levels of radiation found in the fish, scientists will be able to better track the migratory movement of the species across the ocean.

On their migratory route last year the tuna were only exposed to the radiation for about a month, whereas this seasons fish will face exposure for a much longer period, creating fears amongst consumers that the level of radiation will reach worrying levels.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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