Fukushima: Strontium levels up to 240 times over legal limit near plant, uninhabitable land area now the size of 17 Manhattans - (Read Full Story)
Representing the first time the substance has been detected at the crippled plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported on Sunday that seawater and groundwater samples taken near the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan have tested positive for radioactive strontium. And according to a recent report in The Japan Times, levels of strontium detected were up to 240 times over the legal limit, indicating a serious environmental and health threat.
Radioactive strontium, which is known to accumulate in bones and eventually lead to diseases like cancer and leukemia, is one of at least three "hot particles" being continually released by the damaged plant, according to experts. The others include radioactive cesium and plutonium, both of which are implicated in causing birth defects, cancer, and death.
"We are discovering hot particles everywhere in Japan, even in Tokyo," said Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president with 39 years of nuclear engineering experience, to Al Jazeera. "Scientists are finding these everywhere. Over the last 90 days these hot particles have continued to fall and are being deposited in high concentrations. A lot of people are picking these up in car engine air filters.”