. Earth Science News .

Radiation hotspot near Tokyo linked to Fukushima: officials
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 24, 2011

Radiation levels as high as those in the evacuation zone around Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant have been detected in a Tokyo suburb, and are likely linked to the disaster, officials said Monday.

The hotspot, a small area of about one metre (three feet) radius, was found in a vacant lot in Kashiwa city, Chiba prefecture, a commuter suburb of the capital, officials said.

Radiation levels of 2 microsieverts per hour were detected one metre above the surface of the soil, equivalent to some areas in the evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

City officials have also found contamination levels as high as 57.5 microsieverts per hour in the soil, sparking radiation fears in the neighbourhood some 195 kilometres (120 miles) from the accident site.

Inspectors from the science and technology ministry believe the hotspot was created after radioactive caesium carried by rain water became concentrated in a small area because of a broken gutter.

"We covered the area with river sand and plastic sheets, which so far have lowered the radiation levels in the air," said a Kashiwa city official.

"We will decide what to do with the contaminated spot after discussing it with state officials later Monday," he said.

Earlier this month the alarm was raised in western Tokyo after a radiation hotspot was discovered, but later determined to have been caused by some old paint.

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

As researchers carry out tests to map how far contamination has spread from the plant, 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.

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

The subsequent release of radiation forced the evacuation of tens of thousands from within a 20-kilometre radius of 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

Fukushima city begins decontamination of homes
Tokyo (AFP) Oct 18, 2011
Fukushima City began Tuesday its first decontamination of private properties, seven months after the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl spread radioactive materials over eastern Japan. The first such organised cleanup of peoples' homes by an affected municipality follows work by various communities in northeast Japan to decontaminate public areas such as schools, parks and daycare centres ... read more

Rice regrets shoe shopping amid Katrina disaster: book

Radiation hotspot near Tokyo linked to Fukushima: officials

Use Japan nuke disaster to reform mental health system: WHO

Wall collapses at Pompei after flash storms

Microring device could aid in future optical technologies

Netflix loses 810,000 US subscribers

Study: No negative impact from e-readers

Greenpeace criticises Japan radiation screening

Brazil pulls out of OAS meet over Amazon dam dispute

From red planet to deep blue sea: Astronomer Squyres becomes NASA aquanaut

Explanation for Glowing Seas Suggested

Deep-reef coral hates the light, prefers the shade

China's glaciers in meltdown mode: study

Glaciers in China shrinking with warming

Polar bear habitats expected to shrink dramatically:

CryoSat rocking and rolling

Putting light-harvesters on the spot

Study Reveals Diversity of Life in Soils

Mongol herder killed in China land dispute: rights group

New bacteria toxins against resistant insect pests

Fiery volcano offers geologic glimpse into land that time forgot

Desperate hunt for survivors after Turkey quake carnage

Bangkok set for unstoppable floodwaters

Desperate hunt for survivors after Turkey quake carnage

France denies Somali bombardment, admits helping Kenya

Sudden drop in Somali arrivals in Kenya: UNHCR

Kenya, Uganda snared in Battle for Africa

Kenyan forces advance on strategic Somali rebel bases

Culture in humans and apes has the same evolutionary roots

Tracing the first North American hunters

Crowded Earth: how many is too many

'Generation Squeezed': today's family staggering under the pressure


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