Radiation hot spots found in Tokyo area
Oct 13, 2011, 8:24 GMT
A handout photograph made available on 11 August 2011 shows the Shika Nuclear Power Plant owned by the Hokuriku Electric Power Company in Hakui city, Ishikawa prefecture, western Japan. EPA/HOKURIKU ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY
Tokyo - Two small spots in the Tokyo metropolitan area showed higher radiation levels than those of some evacuation zones around a damaged Japanese nuclear power plant, media reports said Thursday.
In the city of Funabashi, 30 kilometres east of Tokyo, a civic group found a small area in a park Thursday had a radiation level of 5.82 microsieverts per hour, compared with 5.68 microsieverts per hour measured Wednesday in Namie in the no-go zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
The plant was hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and began leaking radioactive material, prompting evacuations of nearby residents.
Funabashi city officials declared the area off-limits and started to record radiation levels in the park, the Kyodo News agency said.
Tokyo officials on Thursday also found radiation of 3.35 microsieverts per hour in a spot in Setagaya Ward, one of the most populous areas of Japan's capital. Radiation of up to 2.71 microsieverts per hour was recorded in the same area Wednesday, much higher than in other areas in Tokyo.
But Setagaya Mayor Nobuto Hosaka later told a news conference that the high radiation was attributed to some old bottles under the floor of a private residence.
A local official said experts were still investigating what kind of material was in the bottle.
Radioactive strontium was also detected Wednesday near Tokyo, about 250 kilometres south-west of the plant.
A private agency found 195 becquerels of strontium 90 on the rooftop of an apartment building in Yokohama after a resident requested the test.
Strontium 90, with a half-life of 29 years, tends to accumulate in bones if inhaled or ingested, and it is believed to cause bone cancer and leukaemia.
On Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the government would enhance monitoring of radiation.
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