Study: Multiple surges of radioactive substances detected far from Fukushima Daiichi — Over 10,000 times usual levels at plant — Mayor: Gov’t knew but never told us, they can’t be trusted — Worst may be yet to come; Risk of ‘much broader’ contamination — CBS: “Many miles away… spike in cesium detected this week”

Published: July 17th, 2014 at 6:32 pm ET
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Asahi Shimbun, July 16, 2014 (emphasis added): Radioactive substances released during rubble-removal work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant last year likely spread to areas nearly 50 kilometers away, according to [...] Akio Koizumi, a health and environment science professor at Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Medicine, and four other scientists [...] From samples collected between Aug. 15 and 22 last year, they found a reading of [1,280,000 becquerels] per cubic meter at a location in Soma, 48 km northwest of the plant [...] more than six times higher than usual. Radioactivity levels were 20 to 30 times higher than normal in Minami-Soma [...] The team also found that cesium levels at the measuring point in Minami-Soma surged in both May and June 2013. [...] The research results indicate that future rubble removal at the nuclear plant could disperse radioactive materials over much broader areas surrounding the facility. In March this year, the scientists presented their findings to the Environment Ministry. [...] TEPCO currently plans to resume [highly contaminated rubble] removal efforts by the end of July [...] The utility acknowledged that the Aug. 19 operations released a maximum 4 trillion becquerels–more than 10,000 times the usual levels at the site–over four hours [...]

CBS News, July 16, 2014: CBS News’ Lucy Craft recently visited the crippled Daiichi plant [...] Even now the meltdowns in Fukushima still cause lingering worries for people many miles away. Craft reported that a spike in radioactive cesium was detected this week in a residential community about 30 miles northwest of the Daiichi plant.

Asahi Shimbun, July 15, 2014: Residents of Minami-Soma in Fukushima Prefecture expressed anger with the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. for keeping them in the dark about radiation that contaminated local rice crops. [...]  The ministry informed TEPCO of the problem in March [...] However, the ministry failed to inform the city of Minami-Soma of the situation. [...] TEPCO officials apologized for causing trouble in extensive areas.  [...] At a July 14 news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was [...] asked why the agriculture ministry and TEPCO failed to inform Minami-Soma about the contamination of local rice crops. “The reasons are unclear,” he said. “But I have been informed that investigations will be held soon.”

Katsunobu Sakurai, Minami-Soma Mayor: “We cannot help but distrust the agriculture ministry, which did not promptly let us know of the matter, despite it being a serious issue [...] We protest (TEPCO’s) irresponsible clearing of rubble that raises concern among farmers. We demand an explanation.”

See also: Officials: Radioactive material released into air from Fukushima plant, areas far away being contaminated -- Gov't tracking plumes using emergency prediction system -- "Large amount" of radioactive substances will soon be released (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

Published: July 17th, 2014 at 6:32 pm ET
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564 comments

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