Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Plutonium in soil at Fukushima

The Irish Times has the details, still apparently being disputed by the company that manages the damaged nuclear plant as the quotes below illustrate:

A by-product of atomic reactions and also used in nuclear bombs, plutonium is highly carcinogenic. Nuclear scientists believe some of the plutonium may have come from spent fuel rods at Fukushima or damage to reactor No 3, the only one to use plutonium in its fuel mix.
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said while the plutonium levels were not harmful to human health, the discovery could mean a breach in the reactor's containment mechanism......
Sakae Muto, a Tokyo Electric vice-president, said the traces of plutonium-238, 239 and 240 were in keeping with levels found in Japan in the past due to particles in the atmosphere from nuclear testing abroad.
"I apologise for making people worried," Mr Muto said.

The Wikipedia entry on plutonium toxicity and plutonium in the environment, may be read from the links.



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