Title: Fukushima forests found to be radioactive
Source: Al Jazeera English
Author: Steve Chao
Date: March 10, 2013
Steve Chao: That the forests of Fukushima hold a dark truth is something Yuichi Onda has feared. An expert on radiation and its effects on the environment, he’s been coming to these remote parts of the region ever since the nuclear plant nearby had a meltdown. Not only has he found high concentrations of radioactive cesium, upwards of 750,000 Bq/kg in the fallen leaves and in the soil, but up in the tower he and his assistants have also measured dangerous levels in the trees themselves, suggesting that radiation has permanently found it’s way into the ecosystem. It’s left him with only one drastic suggestion for the government.
Yuichi Onda, radiation expert, Tsukuba University: Cutting the trees as soon as possible is better because the cesium is gradually transferred to the [???].
Chao: With 70% of Fukushima covered in forest, the task would be immense and Honda doubts the government will take his advice. The government is already spending billions of dollars decontaminating various towns in Fukushima. The concern Onda has is that if the forest around where people live aren’t cleared, they’ll continue to emit radioactivity, putting residents at risk.
Published: March 11th, 2013 at 4:35 am ET