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Japan:Hot spot in Funabashi City & IAEA team holds news conference + Related News

Friday, October 14, 2011

Laaska News Oct. 14,2011
Radium may be cause of radiation in Setagaya
Radioactive cesium found in mushrooms in Kanto
IAEA team holds news conference

IAEA team holds news conference


The IAEA team held a news conference after submitting its report to the Environment Minister.


The team leader, Lentijo, gave high marks to the Japanese authorities for coordinating local and central government in planning decontamination measures, monitoring radiation levels in a wide range of areas, and releasing detailed information.


Referring to the financial support given by the government for decontamination work in areas where annual radiation exposure reaches 1 millisievert, Lentijo said that it will take time to complete the work, but that it should pose no problem.


The team leader also said that most of the soil, and other materials removed by decontamination work, contains low levels of radiation and that the possibility of human exposure is low. He suggested there is no need to be overly cautious about radiation exposure.



Hot spot in Funabashi City

Funabashi City, in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, says relatively high levels of radiation have been detected at a local park.

The city said a citizens’ group reported on Wednesday that the radiation levels in the park were measured at up to 5.82 microsieverts per hour.

The city conducted its own measurements at the site on Thursday, and got maximum readings of 1.55 microsieverts per hour, one centimeter above the ground.

The city removed the surface soil at the site, and plans to conduct more detailed inspections.

Separately, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said on Friday that the central government is responsible for decontamination work.

He added that the environment ministry, the science ministry, and the Cabinet Office will discuss the issue later on Friday.


Radioactive cesium found in mushrooms in Kanto

Yokohama City has stopped using dried shiitake mushrooms in school lunches after detecting 350 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in its stocks.

The city said on Thursday that it discovered the contamination during its screening of ingredients for school lunches.

Also on Thursday, 830 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, exceeding the government’s limit of 500 becquerels, was detected in shiitake mushrooms grown outdoors on logs in a city in Ibaraki Prefecture.

The city is about 170 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Earlier this week, shiitake mushrooms containing radioactive cesium above the official limit were found in 2 cities in Chiba Prefecture.

Restrictions have been imposed on shipments of mushrooms grown by the same method in these cities.

Yokohama says the radioactive cesium detected in the city was below the government’s limit, but it has decided not to use dried shiitake in children’s lunches for some time.


Radium may be cause of radiation in Setagaya

The Japanese education ministry says the high level of radiation detected in a residential area in Tokyo is likely to have come from radium 226, and has nothing to do with the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

High levels of radiation were found at a patch of sidewalk in Setagaya Ward in Tokyo about a week ago.

Dozens of glass jars were found in a wooden box under the floor of a house facing the sidewalk by experts commissioned by the ward.

The ministry sent the experts to investigate, and a high level of radiation, 600 microsieverts per hour, was detected on the surface of the jars.

The jars contained a powder.
The experts put the glass jars in a lead box which blocks radiation and moved it away from the residential fence.

The level of radiation at the fence then dropped from around 3 microsieverts per hour to 0.1 to 0.3 microsieverts.

Analysis of the energy of the radiation revealed that the radioactive material is highly likely to be radium 226 which is used for cancer treatment and fluorescent paint.

The education ministry will investigate why the substance was there without permission.

The radioactive substance will be removed from the house on Friday and be stored in a secure place.

Laaska News.