30 March 2011

China detects more low level radiation from Japan

BEIJING - 29th March 2011
Authorities in large swathes of southeastern China have detected “extremely low levels” of radioactive material from Japan’s stricken nuclear plant in the air, the government said.
The nation’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement that monitoring stations in coastal areas from Shanghai in the east to the southern region of Guangxi had detected very small doses of iodine-131 on Monday.
The same radioactive material was found in the air above the northeastern province of Heilongjiang over the weekend in tiny amounts.
The ministry said that in both cases the radioactive iodine came from the Fukushima nuclear plant on Japan’s eastern coast, damaged by the March 11 quake and ensuing tsunami that left more than 28,000 people dead or missing.
But it added that no preventative measures were necessary as the radiation dose was too weak to pose a danger, in the statement released late Monday.
The atomic crisis in Japan has caused concern in neighbouring China, and even sparked panic-buying of salt nationwide as consumers mistakenly believed that the iodine it contained could protect against radiation poisoning.
News of the discovery comes as South Korean authorities announced that they too had detected traces of iodine-131 in Seoul and seven other places across South Korea.
The institute said in a statement the amount was so small that there was no immediate risk to public health or the environment.

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