Survey finds soaring cesium level in soil in Iitate

Kyodo

The Environment Ministry said Monday that a soaring cesium reading of 154,000 becquerels per kilogram has been logged in soil from the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, the highest level yet.

According to the results of a January survey, the cesium reading came from soil taken from the banks of the Niida River in Iitate, which lies in the hot zone around the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 power plant, the ministry said.

The figure put the soil’s radiation above the level that requires incinerated ash to be buried in sites with ferroconcrete partitions, which is 100,000 becquerels.

The ministry survey, its third, was conducted from Jan. 5 to Jan. 27 to measure the density of cesium in water and soil at 179 points across the prefecture.

In the water portion of the survey, 8 becquerels of cesium per liter were detected in the Hirose River in the city of Date, but no cesium was detected at most points surveyed, the ministry said.