Paura in Corea del sud. Chiuse 126 scuole per timore delle piogge con radionuclidi. Il governo afferma che non c’è pericoloo

venerdì, 8 Aprile, 2011

Centoventisei  scuole chiuse nella Corea del sud per timore di radiazioni. Nonostante il governo affermi che i livelli di radioattività causati dalle piogge siano deboli. Dal Guardian dell’8.4.2011e a seguire il dispaccio dell’agenzia giapponese Kyodo News:

South Korean schools close amid radiation fears

More than 100 schools close in Gyeonggi province, despite the PM’s office saying radiation levels in rain pose no health risk

Associated Press

guardian.co.uk, Friday 8 April 2011 01.37 BST

Article history

More than 100 South Korean schools have cancelled or shortened classes over fears that rain falling across the country may show traces of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

The Education Office of Gyeonggi province said it allowed schools to decide whether to open on Thursday.

The prime minister’s office said radiation levels in the rain were low and posed no health threat.

But officials said that 126 schools in Gyeonggi province near Seoul closed, and 43 others shortened class hours as a precaution.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said only a few schools outside Gyeonggi cancelled classes on Thursday.

Radiation levels are falling sharply as you move away from the source, and officials have cleared the 12-mile radius aroundthe Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.

Recent progress at the plant, which was damaged by the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami on 11 March, appears to have slowed the release of radiation into the ocean. This week, technicians plugged a crack that had been gushing contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.

Contamination in waters off the coast has fallen dramatically since then.

da Kyodo News dell’8-4.2011:

Radioactive particles found in rainwater across S. Korea

SEOUL, April 8, Kyodo

Traces of radioactive particles have been detected in rainwater across South Korea following the release of contaminants from a stricken nuclear power plant in Japan, but the levels are too small to pose any risks to humans or the environment, according to the country’s nuclear safety agency.

The Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety said detailed analysis of rainwater Thursday showed traces of iodine-131 in 11 of the 12 detection centers nationwide, with cesium-134 picked up in five locations and cesium-137 in four.

The highest levels of iodine-131, celsium-134 and celsium-137 in rainwater were all detected at the center closest to Japan, on Jeju Island off South Korea’s southern coast.

The concentration levels are all far too low to pose any health risks even if a person were to drink 2 liters of such rainwater every day for a year, KINS officials said, according to Yonhap News Agency.

”We have westerly winds prevailing, and it is unlikely the air above Fukushima containing radioactive substances has come directly to Korea. So we see the rain as not harmful to human beings,” Lee Ho Young, the prime minister’s secretary, was quoted as saying by the Korea Times.

Despite such government assurances, many South Koreans have been wearing raincoats in addition to carrying umbrellas, many schools have suspended classes and worried parents have brought their kids to and from open schools by car.

The institute also detected minuscule traces of iodine and cesium radionuclides in the air in all 12 detection centers across the country, Yonhap reported.

The samples were collected from special air filters from 10 a.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Thursday.

”There was a slight rise in radioactive cesium in the atmosphere, but the amount is to minuscule to actually be a health threat,” the institute said. It added that both iodine and cesium concentration numbers should rise and fall in the coming days.

KINC President Yun Choul was quoted by the Korea Herald as saying that considering the direction of the air current, the materials have arrived on the Korean Peninsula after traveling around the world on the prevailing westerly winds, not right from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

South Korea has stepped up monitoring of radiation levels around the country after concerns about radiation leaks surfaced in the wake of the March 11 massive earthquake that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Yonhap reported that sales of various seaweed products considered helpful in protecting the body against radioactive particles are booming, while there has also been a rush to market protective masks, umbrellas and rain coats as well as air filters.

==Kyodo

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