Environmental and Economic Recovery Post-Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Isotope Characteristics and the Recovery of a Crippled Fisheries Industry
Journal of Scientific Research and Reports,
The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami had a catastrophic effect on the aquaculture industry of the North-East Japanese coast. Ten years on, this paper examines the environmental and economic impacts of this disaster within the context of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. Following structural damage to the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi plant, fisheries and aquaculture industries were suspended, given the initially high radio caesium output into the coastal water column. Daily radiation testing began on all fisheries products, with tentative industry resuming within the Fukushima prefecture once radiation had dropped below the 50 Bq/kg, as stipulated by the Fukushima Fisheries Association. Routine testing continues biweekly (at least until March 2021). As of May 2016, 73 fish species were passed for consumption. The rapid functional recovery of the fisheries industry has been mediated by two factors, the sedimentation characteristics of the caesium isotopes and deposition of isotopes out to sea in an Easterly direction, given the interaction of oceanic currents. While the aquaculture industry may have recovered and food reduced to safe radiation levels, the disaster continues to exert a domestic and international economic impact given the stigma of Fukushima radiation.
- sediment sequestration
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