A joint study by Kyoto University and the University of Tsukuba, among other entities, estimated that water at the mouth of the Abukumagawa river running through the prefecture was contaminated with cesium levels over 50 billion becquerels a day.
The findings showed that the Abukumagawa river is releasing up to 52.4 billion becquerels of cesium per day into the sea, the report said.
The study indicates that over a period of two days the amount of cesium being discharged by the river would exceed the total amount released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501.TO), operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in an operation to drain contaminated water in April.
The daily radiation levels are equivalent to the total of amount of cesium in low-level contaminated water released into the sea in April by Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The researchers estimated the level for cesium-137 at 29.1 billion becquerels a day and that for cesium-134 at 23.4 billion becquerels a day–both at the mouth of the river.
“The study shows a high level (of cesium) is being carried (into the ocean),” said Yosuke Yamashiki, associate professor of environmental engineering at Kyoto University. “The inflow will likely continue for some time.”
The estimated levels near Date, a city situated at the middle reaches of the river, were 92.5 billion becquerels a day for cesium-137 and 83.8 billion becquerels a day for cesium-134.
The researchers said cesium is continuing to contaminate the river water after it fell to the the ground in the watershed area and was carried into the river by rainfall.
More cesium could contaminate the river during decontamination operations and tilling of rice paddies in preparation for transplanting young rice plants, they added.
Source: AJW Asahi
Source: Miyagi Prefecture
Source: Morning Star News
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