VIENNA/SINGAPORE (Kyodo) Radioactive substances released from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station have already reached the United States and Iceland, and are expected to go around the globe in two to three weeks, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization said.
The amount will be too small to affect humans, the Vienna-based CTBTO said Thursday.
The commission operates a network of monitoring facilities at 63 locations around the world, including Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture.
A senior official at the commission’s monitoring department said figures observed in Takasaki continue to go up and down and the amount of radioactive substances from the Fukushima plant can’t be said to be on the decrease.
Small amounts of radioactive substances were already detected at observation facilities in western California on March 18 and in Iceland on Tuesday, and they are expected to reach European countries in a few days, according to the official.
Diplomatic sources at the International Atomic Energy Agency said many Southeast Asian countries are worried about the adverse effects of the radioactive substances.
But Japan’s Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency said it doesn’t expect any impact on other countries, citing data observed so far.
On Thursday, Singapore’s food safety authority said it has found radioactive contaminants in four samples of vegetables from Japan.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said the contaminants were found in vegetables imported from Chiba and Ehime prefectures, in addition to Tochigi and Ibaraki.
As a result, it said it will suspend food imports from Chiba and Ehime. On Wednesday, the ministry suspended the import of foods such as seafood, meat, milk, fruits and vegetables from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma, the four prefectures worst hit by the March 11 quake and tsunami.
The vegetables found tainted were “mitsuba” Japanese wild parsley from Tochigi, “nanohana” rape seed plant from Chiba, “mizuna” Japanese mustard from Ibaraki and perilla leaf from Ehime.
The government on Monday told Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures to suspend shipping of spinach and kakina, a locally produced leaf vegetable, following the detection of radioactive substances at levels above the provisional limits under the Food Sanitation Law. It also told Fukushima Prefecture to suspend shipping of raw milk for a similar reason. The radioactive substances apparently came from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The government the next day called on people to limit consumption of spinach, cabbage and a few other leaf vegetables from Fukushima Prefecture.
Tokyo (CNN) — Despite being urged not to hoard bottled water, residents
of Japan’s capital on Wednesday snapped it up in droves after testing
showed radioactive material in tap water at levels unsafe.
The city’s water agency said the spike was likely caused by problems at
the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, located 240 kilometers (150 miles)
away. Earlier Wednesday, Tokyo government officials advised residents
not to give tap water to infants or use it in formula after tests at a
purification plant detected high levels of radioactive iodine.
Grocery store owner Seiji Sasaki said he noted a sudden increase of
customers. He had 40 cases of water in his store, but they were gone
Meanwhile, officials evacuated some workers at the Fukushima plant
Wednesday afternoon as a black plume of smoke billowed above one of the
reactors, plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The cause of the
smoke was unclear.
The team of seven workers were planning to inspect gauges and
instrumentation at reactor No. 3, but were unable to determine
conditions in the control room before evacuating, officials with Tokyo
Electric and Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said.
Workers have been scrambling to cool down fuel rods at the nuclear plant
since a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami on March 11 knocked
out cooling systems.
Some radiation has been released, officials said, but it was unclear
whether radiation levels spiked after the black smoke was spotted
Wednesday. Japan’s nuclear agency said radiation levels near the plant
had not changed, public broadcaster NHK reported.