RADIATION ALERT - Meat From Fukushima Tests Show Cesium 460% Over Provisional Limit

TOKYO, July 9 (AP) - (Kyodo)—An excessive level of radioactive cesium has been found in the meat of one of 11 cows taken to a meat packing plant in Tokyo from Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, theTokyo metropolitan government said Friday.

It is the first time an excessive level of radioactive cesium has been found in meat, according to the health ministry. The meat in question contained radioactive cesium, measuring 2,300 becquerels per kilogram, against the provisional ceiling of 500 becquerels, according to the local government.

The meat of the 10 other cows is being inspected, the metropolitan government said, adding that no meat from the batch has entered the market.

The city of Minamisoma lies on the outskirts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the same prefecture, which has emitted radioactive materials in the aftermath of the disaster caused by the March earthquake and tsunami.

Note - If the meat can be found in cows, then it could potentially also be found in pigs and chickens as well. Cesium 134 loses half its radiation every 2.1 years, notes the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois. Cesium 137, experts have said, has a half life of 30 years. Because of its long half life, experts have said its presence is worrisome.

“That’s the one I am worried about,” said Michael Friedlander, a U.S.-based nuclear engineer, explaining cesium might linger much longer in the ecosystem. “Plankton absorbs the cesium, the fish eat the plankton, the bigger fish eat smaller fish — so every step you go up the food chain, the concentration of cesium gets higher.”

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Posted by Jay White on Jul 8 2011. Filed under ENVIRONMENT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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