Record levels of strontium in basements at Fukushima nuclear power plant

Strontium reaches 500 Billion Bq/m³ in basements at Fukushima — Record levels reported at 5 locations near ocean — U.S. Senior Scientist: “We see strontium becoming more of concern… food chain will have to be studied more carefully” 3 June 14

JIJI PRESS,May 29, 2014: [TEPCO] said Thursday that it plans to improve a cesium adsorption system […] to enable it to remove strontium. The move is aimed at reducing risks when radioactive water leaks from storage tanks […] TEPCO plans to begin test operation of the improved SARRY system at the end of August. Highly radioactive water [is] accumulating in the basements of the No.1 to No. 4 reactor buildings [with] strontium levels standing at 40 million to 500 million becquerels per liter [500 billion becquerels per metric ton (Bq/m³)].

Tepco, Detailed Analysis Results in the Port of Fukushima Daiichi NPS, around Discharge Channel and Bank Protection — Underground Water Obtained at Bank Protection (pdf):

Results Published May 28, 2014 (Bq/liter):KUSPMay 30, 2014: [Ken Buesseler, Senior scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution] doesn’t worry about cesium-containing fish swimming across the ocean and appearing in other fisheries. The situation is different for strontium-90 […] Strontium behaves like calcium, and it can replace calcium in your bones. “Instead of [cesium’s] 50 days, think of more like 500 days, a couple of years, before it would be released back through natural processes,” he says. […] In the ocean near the power plant, levels of strontium-90 have grown since the accident. But Buesseler says he hasn’t seen alarming numbers for strontium in fish yet. “Down the road, as we see strontium becoming more of concern, that isotope in the food chain will have to be studied more carefully,” he says. Buesseler hopes to monitor strontium levels in the ocean and seafloor near Japan in the future. Should that strontium move across the Pacific Ocean, it will take three years for it to reach the West Coast of the United States.

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