Tag Archives: radioactive cesium-137

Cesium fallout widespread in Japan

Radioactive cesium from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant may have reached as far as Hokkaido, Shikoku and the Chugoku region in the west, according to a recent simulation by an international research team.

Large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan were likely contaminated by the plant, with concentrations of cesium-137 exceeding 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of soil in some places, says the study, which was posted Monday on the website of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers for the U.S.-based organization said the study, which was based on partial data readings, is the first to estimate potential cesium contamination across the country. But they also played down the incident’s impact on the three distant regions.

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Cesium fallout map illustrates Kanto levels

The science ministry’s latest aerial monitoring over Chiba and Saitama prefectures in September confirmed that radioactive cesium released from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant has contaminated parts of the Kanto region.

A ministry report released Thursday revealed that contamination was found in northern Chiba, including the cities of Kashiwa, Matsudo and Abiko, and in the mountainous areas of Chichibu in Saitama Prefecture’s west and Misato in the prefecture’s east.

The highest contaminated areas contained between 60,000 to 100,000 becquerels of cesium-134 and -137 per square meter, it showed. Cesium-134 has a half-life of two years and the one for -137 is 30 years.

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Japan finds radiation in rice, more tests planned

A sample of unharvested rice contained 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, they said. Radioactive cesium was spewed from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after it was damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11.Under Japanese regulations, rice with up to 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram is considered safe for consumption.Officials have tested rice from more than 400 spots in Fukushima prefecture. The highest level of cesium previously found was 136 becquerels per kilogram, prefectural official Kazuhiko Kanno said.

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Cesium off Japan’s coast may return in 20 to 30 years

Radioactive cesium that was released into the ocean from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is likely to flow back to Japans coast in 20 to 30 years after circulating in the northern Pacific Ocean in a clockwise pattern, researchers said Wednesday.Researchers at the Meteorological Research Institute and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry estimated that the amount of radioactive cesium-137 that was directly released into the sea came to 3,500 terabecquerels from March to the end of May, while estimating that roughly 10,000 terabecquerels fell into the ocean after it was released into the air.

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