Cesium-137 in soil 40 km NW of Fukushima Daiichi more than highest levels found at Chernobyl

Published: March 26th, 2011 at 3:59 pm ET


Japan Soil Measurements Surprisingly High, Science Magazine, March 25, 2011:

The levels are highest from two points northeast of the plant, ranging from 8690 becquerels/kilogram to a high of 163,000 Bq/kg measured on 20 March from a point in Iitate about 40 kilometers northwest of the Fukushima plant. …

The soil measurements are more significant for evacuation purposes than radioactivity in the air, says nuclear engineer Shih-Yew Chen of Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, because cesium dust stays underfoot while air is transient. …

Based on a rough estimate, a person standing on soil with 163,000 Bq/kg of cesium-137 would receive about 150 millisieverts per year of radiation, says Chen. This is well above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standard of 50 millisieverts per year for an evacuation. (Per day, it’s 0.41 millisieverts, which is equivalent to four chest x-rays.) But Chen adds, “one point [of data] doesn’t mean that much.”

The hot spot is similar to levels found in some areas affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the former Soviet Union. Assuming the radiation is no more than 2 centimeters deep, Chen calculates that 163,000 Bq/kg is roughly equivalent to 8 million Bq/m2. The highest cesium-137 levels in some villages near Chernobyl were 5 million Bq/m2.

Read the report here.

Published: March 26th, 2011 at 3:59 pm ET


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  2. Report: 50,000+ Bq/kg of radioactive cesium found in soil near Tokyo — “Terrifying” that sample was from side of street where children walk everyday July 13, 2011
  3. Highest Yet: Cesium-137 levels in Northern California soil hits post-Fukushima peak — UC Berkeley blames nuclear weapons tests 50+ years ago September 7, 2011
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6 comments to Cesium-137 in soil 40 km NW of Fukushima Daiichi more than highest levels found at Chernobyl

  • Thomas Wells

    If you breath the dust particles or get them in a cut or don’t wash you hands well enough-you will be Fukushimaed.

    • Required

      I located a book exerpt that said OZONE attacks IODINE forming a greyish-yellow powder…so what we’re breathing may not be pollen or dust.

  • Not too surprising is it?

    As the jet stream continues around the world some radioactive particles will fall with rain, snow or as dust particles, before it continues it’s deadly circle.

    The number of radioactive particles may diminish but the STRENGTH of each particle does not diminish.

    Chernobyl burned only 10 days and had only 3 months of stored radiation. Fukushima has multiple failures & 40 years of improperly stored radiation.

    Dr Ernest Sternglass of University of Pittsburg presented the following infant mortality rate for the Pacific states, following Chernobyl fallout in May 1986, just one month after Chernobyl:

    * May 1986 54% increase infant mortality in Washington state
    * May 1986 48% increase infant mortality in California compared to previous June
    * June 1986 245% increase deaths per thousand live births in Washington state
    * June 1986 900% increase infant mortality rate per live births in Massachusetts

    These problems will face those who inhale or ingest even the smallest particle of radioactive material:

    * premature births
    * increased deaths after live births
    * increased infant pneumonia & influenza
    * increased leukemia
    * increased learning defects
    * increased thyroid cancer
    * increased breast cancer
    * immune deficiency disorders
    * increased chronic degenerative disorders

    The Chernobyl death estimates (from burning just 10 days) from April 1986 through 2004 estimate the mortality rates at 985,000, or a hundred times more than the WHO/IAEA calculations.

    On average, spent fuel ponds hold five to ten times more long-lived radioactivity than a reactor core. Particularly worrisome at Fukushima, is the large amount of cesium-137 in fuel ponds, which contain anywhere from 20 to 50 million curies of this dangerous radioactive isotope.

    With a half-life of 30 years, cesium-137 gives off highly penetrating radiation and is absorbed in the food chain as if it were potassium. Half life does not mean that it’s gone in 30 years.

    According to Brainmass here’s how you calculate how long it would take to disintegrate:

    After 30 years, half of the original amount would remain (1/2-gram).
    After another 30 years, half of that half would remain (1/4-gram).
    After the remaining 30 years, half of the 1/4-gram would remain, or 1/8-gram would still remain.

    The Chernobyl death from April 1986 through 2004 estimate the mortality rates at 985,000, How many multiple times higher will Fukushima be?

    There are simple natural remedies that will help. Since March 18, on the west coast, I’ve been detoxing and doing the best possible. Do not rely on the media to give you a false sense of security.


    • Required

      I always enjoy reading your comments.

      Question: could low-level exposure cause a sudden rise in liver enzymes or (and not in the same person) a sudden case of shingles ?

      • Northern Exposure

        In response to Required’s question regarding liver enzymes and shingles:

        There’s no true answer to that question. The only way to determine the cause of those things is blood tests for specific radioisotopes to see if they could be a factor.

    • Northern Exposure

      Yes. Mathematically speaking, it takes cesium-137 roughly 200+ years to deplete down to 1%.

      That’s 1% in terms of quantity, not strength of radioactivity. So the original amount is 100% and it’ll be 200+ years to reduce down to 1% of that original amount.

      So… common sense tells us if Fukishima continues to leak these radioactive isotopes for a year, something like cesium-137 will easily accumulate in the atmosphere, soil, and water table… and thus, in the food chain.