Scientists detect highest cesium levels in a year in Fukushima

Scientists detect highest cesium levels in a year in Fukushima

July 04, 2013


FUKUSHIMA–Radioactive cesium levels found in moss on a rooftop in downtown Fukushima exceeded 1.7 million becquerels, the highest levels detected in a year, researchers said.

Ryoji Enomoto, an associate professor at the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, who led the team, said radioactive cesium levels were unusually high in the samples collected.

The city is located more than 50 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

“Decontamination works encompassing broad areas are important, but it is also important to find spots where radiation levels are locally high by using simplified measurement tools and to decontaminate the spots,” Enomoto said. “It will help reassure people,” he said.

Enomoto measured radioactivity levels there on June 8. The researchers used a simplified gamma camera to detect the radiation.

A nonprofit group based in the city confirmed the original results; their tests detected 1.78 million becquerels of cesium.

Radiation levels of about 0.5 microsievert per hour were also measured a meter above the moss.

The Fukushima city government plans to decontaminate the building.

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