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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 07:14 AM
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(Bloomberg) Radioactive soil in pockets of areas near Japans crippled nuclear plant have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a dead zone remains 25 years after the reactor in the former Soviet Union exploded.

Soil samples in areas outside the 20-kilometer (12 miles) exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant measured more than 1.48 million becquerels a square meter, the standard used for evacuating residents after the Chernobyl accident, Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, said in a research report published May 24 and given to the government.

Radiation from the plant has spread over 600 square kilometers (230 square miles), according to the report. The extent of contamination shows the government must move fast to avoid the same future for the area around Tokyo Electric Power Co.s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant as Chernobyl, scientists said. Technology has improved since the 1980s, meaning soil can be decontaminated with chemicals or by planting crops to absorb radioactive materials, allowing residents to return.

We need to finish this treatment as quickly as possible, within three years at most, Tetsuo Iguchi, a specialist in isotope analysis and radiation detection at Nagoya University in central Japan, said in a telephone interview. If we take longer, people will give up on returning to their homes. ............(more)

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divvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 07:29 AM
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1. Oops .... a tropical storm has changed things
Typhoon Songda weakened to a tropical storm off Shikoku Island in southwestern Japan on Sunday afternoon, but the Japan Meteorological Agency warned it could still bring downpours and strong winds across the country through Monday.

The storm is expected to move toward waters off eastern Japan on Monday, activating the rain front hovering over northeastern Japan, especially on the Pacific side that was ravaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, according to the agency.

The typhoon, the second this year, had already brought heavy rain to most parts of Japan, with accumulated rainfall on Yaku Island in Kagoshima Prefecture during the 24 hours to early Sunday setting a record high for the location of 457.5 millimeters.
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