Thursday, November 17, 2011
MOST of the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant dropped into the ocean and began circling the planet, Japanese researchers say.
Up to 80 per cent of the caesium released by the Fukushima Daiichi power plant after the March 11 disaster landed in the Pacific and made its way into other oceans around the world, scientists at the Meteorological Research Institute said.
“The rest has fallen on land” in and around Fukushima, said Hiroshi Takahashi, a researcher at the institute in Ibaraki, northeast of Tokyo.
“The results mean the ocean was more contaminated than land, although recent data have shown that ocean pollution resulting from the accident was well below levels affecting humans,” Takahashi said.
Researchers said the radioactive materials, including caesium-137, an isotope with a half-life of more than 30 years, were widely dispersed when they entered the oceans and each particle would measure less than one micrometre – one seventh the size of a human red blood cell.
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