[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
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.