Scholars eye extensive study on nuclear crisis

Kyodo

Professors and researchers from across Japan will jointly launch a large-scale study on the environmental and health effects of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, sources said Thursday.

More than 100 professors and other scholars will take part in collecting data on the impact of the nation’s worst-ever nuclear plant crisis while establishing a team of academics to check the radiation exposure of residents in areas affected by the leak of radioactive substances.

Starting in May, part of the group will work with the Fukushima Prefectural Government, which has already began its own survey, and will collect soil samples at 1,500 locations in coastal areas within 100 km of the crippled power plant, as well as 60 km inland.

With regard to seawater contamination, the group will look into the spread of radioactive materials off Fukuoka Prefecture and their concentration in the food chain and impact on organisms.

The radiation checks will likely cover around 200,000 people living near the crippled Fukushima plant, including around 30,000 who are aged 14 or younger and at higher risk of cancer from radioactive iodine accumulating in the thyroid gland.

Professors and researchers from across Japan will jointly launch a large-scale study on the environmental and health effects of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, sources said Thursday.