. Earth Science News .

Radiation hotspot detected in Tokyo
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 13, 2011

A radiation hotspot has been detected in Tokyo, officials said Thursday, but authorities said it may not be linked to the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

As researchers carry out stringent tests to map how far contamination has spread from the plant, a mayor of western Tokyo told reporters that glass bottles found under the floorboards of a nearby house were likely the cause.

Local media had widely suspected that the hotspot was created after the March 11 disaster crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which has leaked radiation into the environment.

But as researchers inspected the area more closely, they found the levels were even higher inside a house adjacent to the sidewalk and discovered a box containing several glass bottles under the floorboards.

"We have identified the exact spot of high radiation," said Setagaya mayor Nobuto Hosaka at a late Thursday press conference.

"When posing a detector close to the bottles, the reading was so high that it was often impossible to measure it," he said.

"We are currently investigating the objects which are believed to be the cause of the high radiation levels."

No one reportedly lives in the house.

Researchers earlier found radiation levels of up to 3.35 microsieverts per hour along a street in the west of the capital -- 220 kilometres (136 miles) from Fukushima -- much higher than previously reported levels, officials said.

According to calculations based on the Japanese science ministry's criteria, the equivalent annual dose in the hotspot would be 17.6 millisieverts, just below the 20 millisieverts per year threshold that requires evacuation.

The inspectors found the levels near the glass bottles were more than 30 microsieverts, officials said.

Radiation fears are a daily fact of life in many parts of Japan following the earthquake and tsunami-sparked meltdowns at the plant, with reported cases of contaminated water, beef, vegetables, tea and seafood.

Variable winds, weather and topography result in an uneven spread of contamination, experts say, and radioactive elements tend to concentrate in places where dust and rain water accumulate such as drains and ditches.

The March 11 earthquake triggered a tsunami that tore into Japan's northeast coast, leaving 20,000 people dead or missing, while sparking meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The subsequent release of radiation forced the evacuation of tens of thousands from a 20 kilometre (12 mile) radius from the plant and spots beyond in the world's worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Japan starts thyroid tests for Fukushima children
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 9, 2011
Japan's Fukushima prefecture on Sunday began health check-ups of 360,000 children amid worries that radiation from a crippled nuclear plant had exposed them to the risk of thyroid abnormalities. Many parents demanded the tests, drawing parallels with the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, after which locals reported thyroid disorders, a problem sometimes associated with radiation exposure. ... read more

UN to reduce Haiti mission, peacekeepers at record high

Radiation hotspot detected in Tokyo

Japan offers 10,000 free trips to foreigners: report

Twelve dead in China construction site accident

Metal shortages alert from leading geologists

Apple wins Australian ban in Samsung tablet case

German satellite hurtles towards Earth: officials

Asia powers PC rebound in computer gaming industry

China invests billions to avert water crisis

'Iron' fist proposed for Miami's giant snail problem

Chilean giant dam row enters Supreme Court

Myanmar seeks to ease Beijing worries over dam

Research shows how life might have survived 'snowball Earth'

Rising CO2 levels at end of Ice Age not tied to Pacific Ocean

Rising carbon dioxide levels at end of last ice age not tied to Pacific Ocean

Swiss warn of massive ice chunk breaking off glacier

Energy, food security to dominate Rio+20: envoy

Which direction are herbicides heading

Burkina Faso says faces food crisis

Plant genomes may help next generation respond to climate change

Strong quake in Bali causes injuries, panic

The Strange Rubbing Boulders Of The Atacama

Thailand fights to keep Bangkok dry

Storm Jova drenches western Mexico

Food crisis looming in Sudan: UN agency

Kenya tries to contact French woman's abductors in Somalia

Berkeley Lab Tests Cookstoves for Haiti

Guyana opposition warns foreign bauxite firms

In the brain, winning is everywhere

Alzheimer's might be transmissible in similar way as infectious prion diseases

Keeping track of reality

Merkel, rights groups hail Nobel nod to women


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement