Enenews linked a very interesting interview between Maggie and Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds regarding findings of radioactive dust and soil samples on their recent trip to Japan. Here are the links for the story and the interview:
Enenews' account of the interview emphasized findings of significant levels in Plutonium in soil sampled by one of the scientists accompanying Gundersen. Findings of high levels of plutonium are very important and should prompt much more investigation than appears to be happening in Japan, as the nation's Nuclear Regulatory Authority shuts down radiation monitoring (See Fukushima Diary's account here: http://fukushima-diary.com/2016/02/nra-decided-to-reduce-70-percent-of-radiation-monitoring-posts-in-fukushima/).
I recommend listening to the entire interview at the Sound.cloud link above.
One of the important findings discussed was the degree of cesium contamination found in a sample of monkey poop collected by another scientist accompanying Gundersen. The monkey poop registered 50,000 Becquerels (presumably per kilogram).
In 2011, a Japanese robotics professor named Takayuki Takahashi fitted wild monkeys with radiation devices in order to track their exposure: http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2011/12/13/wild-monkeys-to-aid-radiation-research-efforts/
I cannot find publications of his results. But here is a description of some research findings on contaminated monkeys published in 2014 by another group of scientists. I could not tell from the study what year these monkeys were sampled but it was between 2011 and 2013:
Fukushima monkeys show signs of radiation exposure Livescience.com July 24, 2014, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fukushima-monkeys-blood-shows-signs-of-radiation-exposure/Here is the relevant academic publication and an excerpt from the abstract, that describes cesium concentrations:
The results showed Fukushima monkeys had lower counts of red and white blood cells, and other blood parts compared with 31 monkeys from Shimokita Penisula in northern Japan. The researchers also found radioactive cesium in the muscles of Fukushima monkeys, ranging from 78 to 1778 becquerels (units of radioactivity representing decay per second) per kilogram, but they didn't find any in Shimokita monkeys. [7 Craziest Ways Japan's Earthquake Affected Earth] Exposure to radioactive materials may have contributed to the blood changes seen in Fukushima monkeys, study researchers Shin-ichi Hayama and colleagues wrote in their study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports. Low blood cell counts could be a sign of a compromised immune system and could potentially make the monkeys vulnerable to infectious diseases, the researchers said.
Kazuhiko Ochiai , Shin-ichi Hayama , Sachie Nakiri et al "Low blood cell counts in wild Japanese monkeys after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster,"Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5793 (2014) doi:10.1038/srep05793, http://www.nature.com/articles/srep05793The study in Scientific Reports detected cesium levels ranging from 78-1778 Bq/kg in monkey muscle while the poop measured by Gundersen's colleague measured 50,000 Bq/kg.
[excerpted] Total muscle cesium concentration in Fukushima monkeys was in the range of 78–1778 Bq/kg, whereas the level of cesium was below the detection limit in all Shimokita monkeys. Compared with Shimokita monkeys, Fukushima monkeys had significantly low white and red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, and the white blood cell count in immature monkeys showed a significant negative correlation with muscle cesium concentration. These results suggest that the exposure to some form of radioactive material contributed to hematological changes in Fukushima monkeys.
It is possible that monkey poop is just more radioactive than muscle and that the monkeys aren't in fact getting more and more radioactive across time, although that outcome does seem probable.
What are the implications for monkeys bio-accumulating cesium in their muscles? My guess is that what happens to monkeys is likely to follow what happens to people.
In a 2003 video titled Nuclear Controversies by Vladimir Tchertkoff,[i] Professor Yury Bandazhevsky (former director of the Medical Institute in Gomel), states that based on his research on children exposed to radiocesium from Chernobyl, ‘Over 50 Bq/kg of body weight lead to irreversible lesions in vital organs.’
In a short summary of his work published in 2003, Bandazhevsky described high levels of Cesium-137 bioaccumulation in Chernobyl children’s heart and endocrine glands, particularly the thyroid gland, the adrenals, and the pancreas.[ii] He also found high levels in the thymus and the spleen. He found higher levels of bio-accumulation in children than adults. This research demonstrates how radiocesium bioacccumulates within organs and establishes the vulnerability of young people to that process.
The monkey poop in Fukushima suggests monkeys remain highly contaminated. Given the cesium level detected by Gundersen's colleague, it seems probable that muscle concentration levels have not dropped from the 78-1778 Bq/kg level reported in the 2014 study. The hearts of human children become dangerously contaminated at 50 Bq/Kg. One wonders about the fate of those monkeys.
Even more so, one wonders about the fate of inhabitants of Northern Japan who are also likely bioaccumulating cesium.....
[i] W. Tchertkoff (2008) Nuclear Controversies, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qqhm_ZrfhE&feature=relmfu
[ii] Y. I. Bandazhevsky (2003) ‘Chronic Cs-137 Incorporation in Children’s Organs’, Swiss Med Wkly, 133, 488-490, http://tchernobyl.verites.free.fr/sciences/smw-Bandazhevsky_chronicCs137.pdf