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Japan:Radioactive strontium to be closely monitored

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Laaska News  July 6,2011

Japan’s science and technology ministry says tests have found no radioactive strontium in the seabed off the northern Pacific coast.

The test follows last month’s detection of the radioactive material in the seabed near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The operator of the plant took samples 3 kilometers off the coast at 2 locations — 20 kilometers south and north of the plant. Radioactive strontium can cause cancer as it accumulates in bones if inhaled.

No radioactive strontium was found this time in samples taken at 6 locations between 10 and 30 kilometers off a section of the Pacific coast that includes Fukushima Prefecture and two prefectures to the south and north.

The Nuclear Safety Commission, an independent body advising the ministry, says more evidence is needed to prove that no strontium has reached these locations.

The current system cannot detect amounts below 0.8 becquerels of strontium per kilogram of soil. It has advised the ministry to use a method that can detect smaller amounts of the radioactive substance.

The fisheries ministry is also testing marine products caught off Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures, near Tokyo, but found no strontium.



Laaska News.