Fukushima Radiation Traveled the Globe

Most landed in sea: report
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2011 10:26 AM CST
Radiation from Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi Plant Traveled Globe: Report
Workers in protective suits and masks work inside the emergency operation center at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Okuma, Japan Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, Pool)

Some 80% of the radiation from Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant ended up in the sea, where it’s now spread worldwide, a report finds. Fortunately, data suggests “ocean pollution resulting from the accident was well below levels affecting humans,” a researcher tells AFP. Radiation—some of which has a 30-year half-life—spread across the Pacific and hit the western shores of the US in mid-March. A week later, the radioactive materials had completed a trip around the globe.

The other 20%of the radiation ended up on land around the power plant, prompting a new ban on local rice, AFP notes. Radioactive cesium in the rice has been found to far exceed government safety standards. More than 150 farms producing some 200 tons of rice have been slapped with the ban, and it “won't be lifted until safety of the rice produced in the area can be confirmed,” says an official. (Read more Fukushima Daiichi stories.)

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