JAPAN | Survey: radioactive materials found in plankton

Posted on July 9, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Saturday, July 09, 2011 06:14 +0900 (JST)

A scientific survey has found radioactive substances in plankton collected from the seafloor off Fukushima Prefecture.

A group of researchers from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology ended its 8-day survey on Friday. The goal was to study the spread of radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The group collected samples from the seabed along a 120-kilometer stretch off the coast of Fukushima.

Radioactive cesium was found in animal plankton collected 35 kilometers off Iwaki City. The level was measured at 6 becquerels per kilogram.

The researchers say this level does not exceed the national safety standard. They added that the level would still be under the limit even if the cesium were to enter the bodies of larger fish that eat the contaminated plankton.

Professor Takashi Ishimaru, a member of the research group, says he and his colleagues will continue the survey to check the effects of radioactivity on the local ecosystem.

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