JAPAN | Radioactivity survey ship leaves for Fukushima

Posted on July 1, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Friday, July 01, 2011 12:19 +0900 (JST)

A research ship has left Tokyo to survey the spread of radioactive substances into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The ship belonging to Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology left Toyoumi Wharf in Tokyo Bay on Friday morning. About 30 specialists in ocean observation and marine biology are onboard the Umitaka-maru.

In cooperation with a fisheries research organization and other groups, the ship will collect seafloor samples off Fukushima to study the impact of radioactive substances on fish and plankton.

The research will focus on shellfish and sandworms on the seabed that are believed to be susceptible to radioactive materials.

Professor Takashi Ishimaru, the team’s leader, says it’s important to provide accurate information because without data, people tend to become suspicious and they might create groundless rumors.

Ishimaru says he hopes the results of the survey will help scientists learn how fish and shellfish absorb radioactive substances.

The ship is to arrive off Fukushima on Saturday and will continue its activities until July 8th.

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Posted in: JAPAN