Tokyo: Experts Warn Of Increasing Radiation Levels

Japan Times: Time bomb in Tokyo metropolitan area — Experts warn of accumulating Fukushima contamination (ENENews, Nov 18, 2012):

Title: The muddy issue of cesium in a lake
Source: Japan Times
Author: By TOMOKO OTAKE
Date: Nov 18, 2012

Lake Kasumigaura in Ibaraki Prefecture is facing an environmental threat that has essentially turned it into a time bomb ticking away 60 km northeast of Tokyo.

Experts warn that Japan’s second largest lake with a surface area of 220 sq. km is quietly but steadfastly accumulating radioactive cesium […]

[It] is not only rich with fishery resources but whose water is used for irrigation, industrial purposes, and even for consumption as drinking water for 960,000 people in Ibaraki Prefecture. Furthermore, no one knows how and by how much the problem has worsened over the months, except for one obvious thing: it hasn’t gone away. […]

[Atsunobu Hamada, former director of the government-affiliated Ibaraki Freshwater Fisheries Research Institute maintains] that the inevitable solution would be to release Kasumigaura’s cesium into the Pacific Ocean via the Tone River […]

“We have a potential disaster waiting to happen,” [Hiroshi Iijima, director general of the nonprofit organization Asaza Fund in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture] said. “This is a lake in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the second-largest lake in Japan, and we are sitting idly by, letting it get contaminated.”

Katsuhiko Sato, official at the Environment Ministry’s water environment section: The current levels of contamination pose no health risk for the area’s residents, because radiation in the lake and the rivers is shielded by water – (Shielding? See above:  “Water is used for irrigation, industrial purposes, and even for consumption as drinking water for 960,000 people in Ibaraki Prefecture”)

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