Radioactive strontium-90 from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has been detected for the first time in 10 prefectures outside Miyagi and Fukushima, the science ministry said July 24.
The highest reading was in Ibaraki Prefecture and nearly matched the maximum level of strontium-90 recorded in Japan following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The nine other prefectures are Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo and Kanagawa.
But experts say the current levels of strontium-90 will have little impact on health.
“The health impact of the strontium will be much smaller than that of cesium,” said Takumaro Momose, deputy head of the Radiation Protection Department at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. “There is no need to worry as long as we keep track of radiation doses derived from cesium. There is no problem about food, either, as long as the cesium content remains within the safety standard.”
The latest measurements were part of the science ministry’s release of data on the concentrations of strontium-90 in monthly dust deposits collected in outdoor receptacles at measurement stations in all 47 prefectures between April 2010 and December 2011.
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