Radiation Increase from Fukushima measured in Northeastern Japanese Forests
nsnbc , – Levels of the radioactive isotope cesium from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant in northern Japanese forests have almost doubled within one year and will continue increasing as the forests accumulate the isotope.
The Japanese Nikkei Daily reported yesterday that measurements, made in forests between 60 and 120 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant show, that cesium levels in sampled leaves have almost doubled within one year.
Measurements taken in June 2012 showed that more than half of the sampled leaves contained 26.000 bequerels per kilogram.
Measurements taken one year later, in June 2013, showed that more than half of the leaves contained 42.000 bequerels per kilogram. Soil samples, representing the surface earth up to a depth of ten centimeters, increased from about 721 to 3.000 bequerels.
The increase is most likely caused by two factors, which are that the Fukushima Dailichi powerplant continues to contaminate both the air as well as ground and sea water, and that the foliage of the trees accumulates the radioactive isotope.
A study conducted in Myagi prefecture showed that the radioactive isotope continues being accumulated in the soil due to the decomposition of fallen leaves from contaminated trees.
The study shows that forest zones are the zones which are most affected by the emission of radioactivity. Adding to the problem is that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to decontaminate forests.
While the efforts to remove spent fuel rods from the reactor four storage tank of the crippled power plant make progress, and while the ultimate and safe removal of the spent fuel rods could significantly reduce inherent risks, the situation in Fukushima is a disaster that will continue to worsen for the foreseeable future.
Although the Pacific Ocean is under considerable stress, and although experts warn that the US West Coast will experience significant pollution cause by the 2011 Tsunami in Japan within the coming months, the rumors that a Chinese ban on the import of West Coast Shellfish is due to radioactive contamination is incorrect. Correct is however, that China has imposed a ban on the import of US West Coast Shellfish due to high levels of arsenic.