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Asahi: Cesium levels spike in Fukushima primates — Radioactivity much higher in 2012 than in June 2011

Published: October 4th, 2012 at 1:12 am ET
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(Subscription Only) Title: Scientists in groundbreaking study on effects of radiation in Fukushima
Source: AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
Author: Shunsuke Kimura and Akira Hatano
Date: October 04, 2012

AP/KOJI SASAHARA

[...]

In April last year, researchers from Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University (NVLU), along with other institutions, began sampling muscle tissue of wild Japanese macaques caught in the provincial capital, Fukushima, for radioactive cesium content.

The concentrations ranged between 10,000 and 25,000 becquerels per kilogram immediately after the nuclear crisis began to unfurl the month before.

The readings fell to 500-1,500 becquerels per kg in June, but rose again to more than 2,000 becquerels per kg from last winter to spring.

The seasonal variations presumably occurred because the macaques ate leaf buds, which are said to absorb radioactive cesium in high concentrations, the scientists said.

[...]

The Environment Ministry started sampling flora and fauna in Fukushima Prefecture last November because past research focused solely on the impact on humans. This was due to a general assumption that humans and other mammals are more susceptible to the effects of radiation [Emphasis added].

[...]

Published: October 4th, 2012 at 1:12 am ET
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