Friday, May 6, 2016

Cesium Detections in Japan's Soil

Japan's citizens are testing soil for traces of Fukushima contamination. Note that among the 1,000 radionuclides released by Fukushima, they are testing for cesium alone:
Masakazu Honda. May 6, 2016. 30 groups show radioactive soil levels to address Fukushima fears. The Asahi Shimbunb

A coalition of 30 private groups is digging deeper into radiation contamination from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster to address persistent concerns from the public around Japan….

...The highest reading so far was 135,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium detected in a forest near a home in the Hiso district of Iitate village, northwest of the embattled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The soil sample showed 111,028 becquerels of cesium-137 and 23,920 becquerels of cesium-134.

Radioactivity readings at many observation spots in Shizuoka Prefecture, which is far from the nuclear plant, were below the lowest detectable level.

But the survey this year still found sites in the Kanto region, south of the Tohoku region where the Fukushima plant is located, with readings exceeding 10,000 becquerels.
Where cesium is found, strontium, uranium, and other radioactive elements no doubt linger also. As readers of my blog are well aware, these radioactive elements don't simply stay in the soil. They are absorbed by plants and then by animals who eat the plants.

Considerable research demonstrates that living in a radiation-contaminated environment causes brain shrinkage and transgenerational effects. See for example:

Møller, Anders. P., Andea Bonisoli-Alquati, Geir Rudolfsen, and Timothy Mousseau (2011). Chernobyl birds have smaller brains. PlOS One, 6(2),e16862 . DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016862

Is that happening to those of us who live in increasingly radiation contaminated zones?

Meanwhile, Fukushima emissions have been oscillating in severity. Yesterday they were quite low compared to the day before when they were very, very high. Today they are trending upwards again: