Japan: "Effect of Contaminated Soil on Food Chain Sparks Fears"

"Six months after the nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima Prefecture, the public's awareness of the threat posed by radiation is entering a new phase: the realization that the biggest danger now and in the future is from contaminated soil."

"The iodine-131 ejected into the sky by the Fukushima No. 1 power station disaster was quickly detected in vegetables and tap water — even as far away as Tokyo, 220 km south of the plant.

But contamination levels are now so low they are virtually undetectable, thanks to the short half-life of iodine-131 — eight days — and stepped up filtering by water companies.

But cesium is proving to be a tougher foe. The element's various isotopes have half-lives ranging from two to 30 years, generating concern about the food chain in Fukushima Prefecture, a predominantly agricultural region, as the elements wash fallout into the ground.

The root of the problem is, well — roots."

Mizuho Aoki reports for the Japan Times September 11, 2011.


"Sea Radiation From Fukushima Seen Triple Tepco Estimate" (Reuters)

"Japan City on  Border of Nuclear No-Go Zone Fights for Survival" (Reuters)

"A Third of Fukushima Residents Would Move If They Could" (Asahi Shimbun)

"After Fukushima, Mother Fights To Get Her Life Back" (Reuters)

Source: Japan Times, 09/12/2011