Effect of Cesium in Fukushima Waning Faster Than in Chernobyl

Economy Society Science Technology

Tokyo, March 9 (Jiji Press)--The effect of radioactive cesium-137 released into the environment due to the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, has been decreasing faster than in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a study has found.

The study was conducted by institutions including the University of Tsukuba, Fukushima University and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

The nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> caused 2,700 trillion becquerels of cesium-137 to fall on the ground, of which 67 pct is estimated to have been deposited on forests, 10 pct on paddy fields, 7.4 pct on other cultivated land and grassland, and 5 pct on urban areas.

The team studied more than 210 scientific articles on the cesium-137 situation in the wake of the accident, and compared the contamination levels within 80 kilometers of the Fukushima No. 1 power plant with those of the Chernobyl accident in the former Soviet Union.

In Chernobyl, most of the contamination was on forests and abandoned farmland. In Fukushima, meanwhile, much of the contamination was on urban areas and cultivated land, and decontamination work was carried out, leading cesium-137, whose half-life is about 30 years, to dive deep in the soil quickly.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press