[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
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Grass-roots campaigns for female candidates are making an impact in India's first nationwide elections since 2009.
join our mailing list