The news about Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant just get worse and worse.
The authorities waited until nearly 3 months after the monster tsunami (that was triggered by the March 11 earthquake) had damaged the coastal plant to finally tell the truth. Not one (as previously said), but all three of the plant’s damaged reactors had experienced a meltdown.
The latest bad news: Citizens groups claim that soil some 40 miles from the plant has radiation levels above those of Chernobyl.
Agence France Presse reports from Tokyo, July 5, 2011, that six citizens groups or NGOs (non-governmental organizations (including the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation) asked a radiation expert, Kobe University professor Tomoya Yamauchi, to do a survey of soil samples.
Yamauchi tested the soil from four locations in Fukushima — a city of 290,000 people, which is 40 miles from the stricken nuclear plant and is outside the government-declared evacuation zone.
Yamauchi found the radiation in the samples to exceed the levels that triggered compulsory resettlement ordered by Soviet authorities following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine. All soil samples from Fukushima contained caesium exceeding Japan’s legal limit of 10,000 becquerels per kilogram (4,500 per pound). The highest level was 46,540 becquerels per kilogram, and the three other readings were between 16,290 and 19,220 becquerels per kilogram
Yamauchi said, “Soil contamination is spreading in the city. Children are playing with the soil, meaning they are playing with high levels of radioactive substances. Evacuation must be conducted as soon as possible.”
The citizens’ groups have called for the evacuation of pregnant women and children from the town.
Chernobyl remains a ghost town today: