Thursday, February 16, 2012

Massive levels of radioactive cesium detected at quarry near Fukushima plant

FUKUSHIMA -- Massive levels of radioactive cesium have been detected from gravel at a quarry near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, after high radiation was detected at buildings using gravel from the same quarry, prefectural officials said.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government examined samples of the gravel from the quarry in the town of Namie after inspecting the site on Jan. 20.

Tests detected up to 214,200 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram of gravel, far above the levels at other quarries operating in the evacuation zones around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. About 60,000-210,000 becquerels of cesium was found in most of the gravel that had been kept outdoors at the quarry since the disaster.

High radiation levels have been detected at apartment blocks and other construction projects built with gravel from the Namie quarry, and the findings lend further backing to the theory that this gravel was seriously contaminated with large amounts of cesium. Read More