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Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
A series of blasts and fires led to the release of large amounts of radioactive materialImage: AP

Fukushima clean-up

November 15, 2011

As the UN atomic agency praises clean-up efforts, researchers warn that radioactivity might have contaminated wider areas of Japan than had been previously thought and called for extensive soil testing.

https://p.dw.com/p/RwZx

Although the UN atomic agency has praised Japan's clean-up efforts since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, there is still room for improvement it said. "A lot of good work, done at all levels, is ongoing in Japan in the area of environmental remediation," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report delivered to the Japanese authorities on Tuesday.

"However, at this point in time, we see that there is room to take a more balanced approach, focusing on the real priority areas, classifying residue materials and adopting appropriate remediation measures on the basis of the results of safety assessments," said Juan Carlos Lentijo from Spain's nuclear regulatory authority.

Farmland might be too radioactive

A pocket radiation detector
Japanese consumers are worreid about the potential health effects of radiationImage: AP

Meanwhile, a study released by a team of international researchers on Tuesday showed that radioactivity from the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima might have contaminated wider areas of Japan than previously thought.

The findings, which were published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences journal, suggest that farming in neighboring areas could suffer because of radiation even though the levels discovered were within legal limits.

Using computer-simulated particle dispersion models based on weather patterns, the researchers found that radioisotopes of elements including cesium, tellurium and iodine had been blown more than 500 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, including to the northern island of Hokkaido.

Tetsuko Yasunari from Nagoya University called for a nationwide testing of soil and warned that there were hot spots where radiation levels were high.

Author: Anne Thomas (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Shamil Shams

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