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Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011


Other materials besides cesium


While Kazuaki Nagata's Nov. 9 article, "Radiation cleanup plan falls short", was appreciated, I must point out one misstatement in the article. Nagata asserts that "The main radioactive materials that spewed from the Fukushima No. 1 plant are cesium-134 and -137."

This is incorrect: A quick look at emissions data from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant (June 6 press release from Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency) shows equally large emissions of plutonium, tellurium, iodine, neptunium and strontium. What can be said about cesium is that it's easier to pick up with monitoring, and hence has been better tracked.

The other radionuclides are no less of a problem, but we were hearing disturbingly little about their presence until the recent detection of strontium-90 in Yokohama. It can be assumed that if cesium is being detected, the other materials are present as well.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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