TOKYO (majirox news) — A high level of radioactive cesium was detected in the soil today at Kashiwa City, Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo, according to Japan’s Ministry of Environment. It is probably the result of the fallout from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The high concentration was detected in a vacant lot. According to the city government, up to 450,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium was detected in one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of soil 5 to 10 cm centimeters (2 to 4 inches) below the surface.
Rainwater containing cesium from radioactive fallout had probably accumulated in the soil during the months since the accident at the Fukushima plant, according to officials. Radiation levels are higher above ground than in the soil.
The ministry said they will conduct further tests on the soil and the surroundings.
Up to 276,000 becquerels of cesium per kilogram of soil was found 30 centimeters below the ground’s surface in October.
In the aftermath of the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl (city of Gomel), areas where radioactivity levels exceeded 37,000 becquerels per square meter were designated as contamination zones, noted the Asahi newspaper.