We also acknowledge undergraduate researchers supported by Arkansas State University’s National Science Foundation grant (#REU-0552608). “
“The “Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai)” caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake GKT137831 off the coast of Northeastern Japan on Friday, 11 March 2011, triggered an extremely destructive tsunami with waves up to 37.9 meters high. This is the most powerful known earthquake to have hit Japan and one of the five most powerful in the world. At least three nuclear reactors at Fukushima Nuclear Plant in the tsunami area suffered explosions, which were described as ‘extremely
serious’ by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the measure of severity of the crisis being raised on 12th April 2011 to the highest international level of 7. Even though the radioactive leaks were described as much lower than those in Chernobyl nuclear
disaster in 1986, the leaks had not stopped completely at the plant and scientists feel that the total leakage could eventually exceed those at Chernobyl. Especially, the increasing http://www.selleckchem.com/epigenetic-reader-domain.html amounts of 137Cs and 131I are matters of concern. These and other radioactive materials are now polluting the global environment through air and water and it has been cautioned by many that these may accumulate in the biotic compartments such as seaweeds, fish, etc. and may ultimately reach marine mammals and human. This phenomenon needs the maximum attention of scientists working on the aftereffects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Interestingly, in a survey conducted by our laboratory (Yoshitome et al., 2003), we found that the levels of anthropogenic radionuclide 137Cs was the lowest in the species of marine mammals obtained from off Otsuchi (0.17 ± 0.05 Bq/kg wet wt) and off Sanriku coast (0.21 ± 0.09 Bq/kg wet wt), Japan when compared with the specimens caught from other parts of the world such as Lake Baikal (14 ± 2 Bq/kg wet wt), Black
Sea (9.0 ± 2.1 Bq/kg wet wt), Kara Sea (2.0 ± 0.5 Bq/kg wet wt), Caspian new Sea (2.6 ± 0.8 Bq/kg wet wt), Northern Canada (3.4 Bq/kg wet wt), North Sea (1.3 Bq/kg wet wt), etc. We also found a strong positive correlation between the levels of this radionuclide in the muscle of marine mammals and ambient water. All the samples for this study were gathered in the 1990s and those in Japan were from the northwestern Pacific where the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake of 2011 occurred. We would like to reiterate here that work on 137Cs on the marine mammal specimens from this location now can give an insight into the most discussed radioactive problem in the area. The above cited paper can provide the baseline data for comparison for studying the possibility of build-up of 137Cs in the marine mammals near northeastern Japan. Schnoor (2011) has explained various lessons to be learnt on the nuclear calamity at the Fukushima power plant following the 9.0 earthquake. He has given a list of such lessons to be learnt.