Column of the Day: brine damage?

Since this spring ,I often see dead street plants around in Yokohama and Tokyo.

Most of them are evergreen.

Especially after the typhoon 15th of last week,I find lots of withering plants here and there.

Some people say it’s brine damage ,but typhoon comes every year.

The condition must be the same.

Is it because I’m being too nervous or..?



My neighbor’s garden,9/27/2011  “Usually it doesn’t grow this much ” my neighbor says. It’s trimmed under 2.0m all the time,but some branches grew higher than 3.0m before he notices.

  1. I’ve heard may similar reports from friends in Tokyo. Their gardens seem to be dying off. Evergreens just drying out and wilting. Very worrying indeed! I hope this is just wind damage from the typhoon but I seriously doubt that. Very sad 🙁

  2. Another thing to consider is that many trees have ‘tap roots’ which go down a long way to try to reach the water table. If this is contaminated, then the water they are drawing up and into their leaves will be poisonous.

    If the radiation was in the air, it would probably get on all the leaves of the same plant but if it is to do with the uptake of water which may have been contaminated, then some roots may have grown into an area where there is some contaminated water and some roots may not be reaching that water. This might account for the patches of brown or dead leaves on the same bush/tree or in different areas of ground.

    Cracks underground may direct contaminated water in different directions, and sometimes nearer the surface, allowing the plants that grow near these cracks to have access to the bad water.

    I am no expert, just saying what I think might be happening.

  3. Please take pictures of the plants when you walk around and post them here. How about your neighbor’s garden? You must remember that your blog is no longer just your blog! It has become an important record of events. There is nothing like this blog on the internet! You are doing important research just by recording what you experience and posting it here. Others will use your information now and long into the future, to document the effects of disaster on this scale.

    Can you PLEASE get others in Japan to provide pictures, videos, lab reports, etc. Let them know how important this is! Everybody can help! The more data that comes out of Japan from average people, the more the world will understand.

    I applaud you for your tireless work. Once you leave Japan, however, will there be any voices like yours that will keep on doing this work? Please find others who will continue! Of course they should leave Japan too but if everyone can please record what they are seeing each day! I’m posting this so you can tell your friends that THE REST OF THE WORLD WANTS TO KNOW!

    Thanks to the person who recorded radioactivity on the train! Thanks to everyone taking time to do this! Even children can use their cameras and write their observations and thoughts! Please tell them we want to hear what they have to say!

  4. OH, I didn’t realize that clicking on the “no hotlinking allowed” brings up your pictures! Forgive me. I should have tried that first! I did not know until right now! Thank you, I should have realized those hotlinking things meant something!

  5. the cover of “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” by Yablokov and the Nesterenkos. 2009, NY Academy of Sciences — ‘Pine trees reveal changes in wood color, density, and growth rate following irradiation from the Chernobyl disaster.” page 231:
    TABLE 8.9. The Years Needed to Achieve a 50%
    Reduction in the Amount of Each Radionuclide in
    the Top (0–5 cm) Soil Layer in Areas 50 and 200
    km from the Chernobyl NPP (National Belarussian
    Report, 2006)
    Radionuclide Up to 50 km Up to 200 km
    Pu-239, Pu-240 6–7 >50
    Am-241 6–7 >50
    Sr-90 7–12 7–12
    Cs-137 10–17 24–27

    From the sections on soils and plants, it is quite certain that no soil, plant, animal or human is immune, as contamination exists wherever the fallout lands or is transferred (as in the case of incineration of debris or carrying home contamination on one’s clothing). Secondly, that it disrupts all life, disturbing the normal genetic development and thus passes on genetic defects in subsequent generations – therefore one cannot undue genetic damage, indeed, genetic disturbances INCREASE over time.

    pg 240 “12. The level of incorporated radionuclides
    tends to correlate with the density of radioactive
    contamination in the soil (Figure 9.4).” It would be hard to justify that the soil would be markedly more contaminated than plants than come from it.

  6. Hello Marushka

    Plants are far less susceptible to radiation than animals. As plants evolved prior to animals during a period of far higher natural background radiation.

    In animals genetic damage can lead to hormone abnormalities and eventually sterilization in future generations. In humans such abnormalities typically result in miscarriages, as this is natures way of limiting dysgenic offspring. Hence the species self protects to some extent.

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About this site

This website updates the latest news about the Fukushima nuclear plant and also archives the past news from 2011. Because it's always updated and added live, articles, categories and the tags are not necessarily fitted in the latest format.
I am the writer of this website. About page remains in 2014. This is because my memory about 311 was clearer than now, 2023, and I think it can have a historical value. Now I'm living in Romania with 3 cats as an independent data scientist.
Actually, nothing has progressed in the plant since 2011. We still don't even know what is going on inside. They must keep cooling the crippled reactors by water, but additionally groundwater keeps flowing into the reactor buildings from the broken parts. This is why highly contaminated water is always produced more than it can circulate. Tepco is planning to officially discharge this water to the Pacific but Tritium is still remaining in it. They dilute this with seawater so that it is legally safe, but scientifically the same amount of radioactive tritium is contained. They say it is safe to discharge, but none of them have drunk it.


September 2011