– Plutonium Detected at 10 Locations in Fukushima (Jiji Press, Aug 21, 2012):
Tokyo, Aug. 21 (Jiji Press)–Plutonium believed to originate from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s <9501> crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has been detected at 10 locations in four municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, the science ministry said Tuesday.
The highest reading was 11 becquerels of plutonium-238 per square meter, detected in the town of Namie.
The figure is about 1.4 times more plutonium than that originated from fallout from nuclear weapons tests abroad.
However, the ministry said that there is no health hazard.
The other municipalities are the town of Okuma, the village of Iitate and the city of Minamisoma.
To recap, uranium-239, whose half life is about 24 minutes, decays into neptunium-239 with a half life of about 2.5 days, which then decays into plutonium-239 whose half life is 24,200 years.
Dr. Helen Caldicott (Co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility):
You’ve bought the propaganda from the nuclear industry. They say it’s low-level radiation. That’s absolute rubbish. If you inhale a millionth of a gram of plutonium, the surrounding cells receive a very, very high dose. Most die within that area, because it’s an alpha emitter. The cells on the periphery remain viable. They mutate, and the regulatory genes are damaged. Years later, that person develops cancer. Now, that’s true for radioactive iodine, that goes to the thyroid; cesium-137, that goes to the brain and muscles; strontium-90 goes to bone, causing bone cancer and leukemia. It’s imperative … that you understand internal emitters and radiation, and it’s not low level to the cells that are exposed. Radiobiology is imperative to understand these days.”