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» Airborne radioactive materials released during debris-cleaning work since December 2011

Airborne radioactive materials released during debris-clearing work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were found in a town 60 kilometers away on seven occasions since December 2011.

Led by the University of Tokyo’s Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the team noted a surge in concentration of airborne radioactive cesium during clean-up activities that reached the town of Marumori in neighboring Miyagi Prefecture.

The researchers said the findings show that radioactive materials were repeatedly released into the environment and reached extensive areas during debris-clearing operations.

They called on TEPCO to take more care to prevent the spread of radioactive materials during debris-clearing operations, even if it requires implementing more costly methods.

In conducting its research, the team placed a device to collect airborne dust at the town office of Marumori, 59 kilometers north-northwest of the stricken Fukushima plant. The device collected the samples at four- or five-day intervals between December 2011 and December 2013.

The team determined that there were eight cases in which the amount of radioactive cesium in the samples were at least 10 times higher than normal levels and the material likely originated from the Fukushima plant because of wind direction and speed.

The highest level of contamination was recorded in a sample collected between Aug. 16-20, 2013, reaching 50 to 100 times higher than normal levels.
<Media Report>
Radioactive dust released during Fukushima cleanup reaches as far as Miyagi Prefecture (Asahi Newspaper)

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