Agence France-PressePosted at 10/01/2011 9:49 AM | Updated as of 10/01/2011 9:49 AM
A limited amount of plutonium has been detected in soil outside Japan’s troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant which was crippled by the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster, the government said Friday.
It was the first time plutonium had been found in government tests outside the plant, presumably due to the nuclear accident, the worst since 1986 Chernobyl, the education and science ministry said in a statement.
Plutonium was detected in soil at six places in a survey which was conducted in June in an area within 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the ministry said.
Nuclear reactors at the plant suffered meltdowns after cooling systems there were knocked out by the double disasters. Plutonium has been already detected in the plant’s compound, some 220 kilometres from Tokyo.
The highest density of plutonium-239 and 240 — 4.0 becquerels per square metre — was registered in a town some 30 kilometres from the plant, the ministry said.
In a village 45 kilometres away, the reading was 0.82 becquerels per square meter.
Continue reading at Plutonium ‘detected outside Fukushima plant’
◇ Articles in Japanese:
・プルトニウム、飯舘村まで飛散＝原発事故で、土壌から検出－文科省 via Jiji.com
・福島の６地点でプルトニウム検出 原発敷地外で初 文科省「被曝量は非常に小さい」 via msn.産経ニュース