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Japan:Cesium detected in worms near Fukushima plant

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Laaska News  Feb. 8, 2012

Researchers say high levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in earthworms caught in areas around the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The researchers from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute checked cesium levels in earthworm samples they collected at 3 locations.

The institute says about 19,000 becquerels of cesium per kilogram of worms were detected in Kawauchi Village 30 kilometers from the plant, about 1,000 becquerels in Otama Village, 70 kilometers from the plant, and 290 in Tadami Town, 130 kilometers away.

The institute says the cesium levels rise in proportion to the radioactive levels of top soil containing decomposed leaves, the worms’ feed.

The reading in Kawauchi was higher than the 14,600 becquerels per kilogram detected in a wild boar in Fukushima Prefecture. The radioactive level in the animal is 30 times the official limit.

The chief researcher at the institute, Motohiro Hasegawa, says boars, birds and other forest animals feed on earthworms. He says the radioactive impact on these creatures will need to be constantly monitored to prevent contamination through the food chain.


Laaska News.