Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Radioactive materials may have sunk 30 cm into ground

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Radioactive materials released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant into the atmosphere were found 5 centimeters beneath the ground three months after the breakout of the nuclear crisis last March, but are now believed to have sunk 10 to 30 cm deep, a study by a research institution showed Wednesday.

The hazardous materials must have seeped into the land with rain, according to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

"Further delay in decontamination works will make the radioactive materials sink into the ground deeper, and it will impose more burdens on those involved in the decontamination," said Haruo Sato, researcher at the agency's Horonobe Underground Research Center in Hokkaido.

A group of researchers of the agency examined the penetration of four radioactive materials, including cesium 137, at 11 points in Nihonmatsu, Kawamata and Namie in Fukushima Prefecture, which are within a radius 20 to 60-kilometers from the Fukushima complex, in June. Read More