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日本福岛电站地下水核辐射超标1万倍

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小编摘要:日本东京电力公司福岛第一核电站核辐射危机正在进一步扩大。据日本媒体消息,在核电站的地下水中测得的放射性物质超标1万倍,距离核电站50公里外的海水中,也发现了较高浓度的碘131。

Radiation exceeding government safety limits has seeped into groundwater under a tsunami-crippled Japanese nuclear plant, according to the operator, but has not affected drinking supplies.

The leak announced late Thursday could pose a long-term problem, however, and at the very least it is a concerning indicator of how far Tokyo Electric Power Co. is from bringing its plant under control. Workers have been battling to stabilize dangerously overheating reactors after cooling systems were knocked out in the March 11 tsunami.

TEPCO has increasingly asked for international help in its uphill battle, most recently ordering giant pumps from the U.S. that were to arrive later this month to spray water on the reactors.

The groundwater contamination _ 10,000 times higher than the government standard for the plant _ is the latest setback at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex, where leaks have already contaminated food and hindered workers' ability to bring the plant under control. Iodine-131, a radioactive substance that decays quickly, was found nearly 50 feet (15 meters) below one of the reactors, according to TEPCO spokesman Naoyuki Matsumo.

While the contamination does not appear to have caused an immediate problem, there are two ways it could eventually affect drinking water if concentrations were high enough. One is if it were to seep into wells in the area. For now, a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius around the plant has been cleared, though residents of the area are growing increasingly frustrated with evacuation orders and have been sneaking back to check on their homes.

The other concern is whether contaminated water from the plant could seep into underground waterways and eventually into rivers used for drinking water. It's not yet clear if this is possible.

Seiki Kawagoe, an environmental science professor at Tohoku University, also noted that radiation tends to dissipate quickly in the ground, as it does in the ocean.

Radiation concerns have rattled the Japanese public, already struggling to return to normal life after the earthquake-borne tsunami pulverized hundreds of miles (kilometers) of the northeastern coast. Three weeks after the disaster in one of the most connected countries in the world, 260,000 households still do no have running water and 170,000 do not have electricity.

In the latest report of food becoming tainted, the government said Friday that it planned more tests on a cow slaughtered for beef that had slightly elevated levels of cesium, another radioactive particle. Officials stressed that the meat was never put on the market.

Health Ministry spokesman Taku Ohara said the cesium was found in a cow slaughtered March 15 more than 40 miles (70 kilometers) from the plant.

Radioactive cesium can build up in the body and high levels are thought to be a risk for various cancers. It is still found in the soil of Germany, Austria and France 25 years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and is found in wild boar in Germany, making the pigs off-limits for eating in many cases.

Contamination has also affected work at the plant itself, where radioactive water has been pooling, often thwarting the vital work of powering up the complex's cooling systems.


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2011-04-01 17:45 编辑:cocoon520
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