VIENNA — Japanese officials reporting on the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster say that gamma rays from the rubble left by the accident are now a greater concern than radioactive cesium still being emitted from the crippled nuclear plant.
A report to an International Atomic Energy
Agency meeting presented Monday says that cesium being released from
the plant is at approximately 0.01 becquerels per hour, well below the
health-hazard level. Shinichi Kuroki, who presented the report, says the
greater challenge is to reduce relatively high gamma ray radiation from
the plant debris.
A powerful earthquake and tsunami hit the
Fukushima plant 17 months ago, overwhelming its safety systems and
spreading radioactivity over a large area.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano urged delegates to maintain their “sense of urgency” on post-Fukushima nuclear safety.