Date: Wednesday, June 01, 2011 15:40 +0900 (JST)
Snow in the mountains in Fukushima Prefecture is showing radioactive contamination at levels above the safety limit for drinking water.
Researchers from Fukushima University performed the analysis with a local environmental group. They sampled snow in 31 locations and at different altitudes from 7 peaks around Fukushima city, from mid-April through early May.
The results showed that snow in 14 locations contained more than 200 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, the adult safe limit for drinking water.
A sample of snow from an altitude of 1,300 meters contained 3,000 becquerels of cesium.
Fukushima University Vice-President Akira Watanabe specializes in meteorology and says the data support his team's analysis that radioactive substances scattered at an altitude of 1,300 meters.
He is urging mountain climbers not to drink river water or gather edible wild plants, now that high levels of radioactivity in the snow have been confirmed.