[QODLink]
Asia-pacific

Fukushima forests found to be radioactive

Forests covering 70 percent of Japanese prefecture found to have traces two years after nuclear disaster.
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2013 07:13

Two years after the triple calamities of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster ravaged Japan's northeastern Pacific coast, forests that cover 70 percent of the Fukushima Prefecture have been found to contain high concentrations of radioactive cesium.

With traces revealed not only in the fallen leaves and soil, but in the trees themselves, the findings suggest that radiation has permanently found its way into the ecosystem.

The government is already spending billions of dollars decontaminating various towns in Fukushima, but the forests continue to emit radioactivity, putting the residents at risk.

Scientists suggest cutting down the trees as soon as possible because the cesium will gradually be transferred to the earth itself.

Many residents are now suing TEPCO, the nuclear plant's operator, for the impact the disaster has had on surrounding communities.

It is estimated the power company will pay some about $400bn in cleanup costs and compensation.

Al Jazeera's Steve Chao reports from Fukushima.

154

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.