Japan sets new radiation safety level for seafood | EPA trying to do the same

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by whoosh, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. whoosh

    whoosh Cooler King
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    Apr 15, 2009
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    TOKYO (AP) — The government set its first radiation safety standards for fish Tuesday after Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant reported radioactive contamination in nearby seawater measuring at several million times the legal limit.
    The plant operator insisted that the radiation will rapidly disperse and that it poses no immediate danger, but an expert said exposure to the highly concentrated levels near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant could cause immediate injury and that the leaks could result in residual contamination of the sea in the area.
    The new levels coupled with reports that radiation was building up in fish led the government to create an acceptable radiation standard for fish for the first time. Some fish caught Friday off Japan's coastal waters would have exceeded the new provisional limit.
    "Even if the government says the fish is safe, people won't want to buy seafood from Fukushima," said Ichiro Yamagata, a fisherman who used to live within sight of the nuclear plant and has since fled to a shelter in Tokyo.
    "We probably can't fish there for several years," he said.
    The coastal areas hit by by the March 11 tsunami make up about a fifth of Japan's huge industry, but radiation fears could taint all of the country's catch through guilt by association. Japan imports far more than it exports, but it still sent the world $2.3 billion worth of seafood last year. And in the home of sushi, the worries over contamination could deal a blow to its brand.

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