Seoul witnessed Radioactive Rain as winds blew from neighboring Japan which has witnessed the second biggest nuclear energy accident after Chernobyl.Though the the Rain contains cesium and iodine particles they are well within the safety limits according to the South Korean Nuclear Safety Regulator.South Korea has already protested against the lack of information about the Nuclear Emissions and the Deliberate Dumping of Toxic Seawater by TEPCO.However many schoolchildren stayed at home as worried parents were concerned about the impact of the radiation.China the other major close nation in proximity to Japan has also detected low levels of iodine in spinach in 3 provinces.China had earlier reported trace levels of radiation in Guangdong and Shanghai.Note Iodine has a very low half-life so that problem should not persist for long.However cesium is another matter as it can lodge inside human body and keep emitting for a long time internally.
China’s health ministry said traces of radioactivity in spinach had been found in three provinces.
India earlier this week banned Japanese food imports for three months.In South Korea, some schools closed because parents were worried that rain across the country could be toxic.”We’ve sent out an official communication today that schools should try to refrain from outdoor activities,” an education official in South Korea said.South Korea’s nuclear safety agency reported a small level of radioactive iodine and caesium particles in rain in the south but said it was not enough to be a public health concern.Nevertheless, many Koreans donned face masks, and streets near schools in Seoul were more congested than usual as parents drove children to work rather than let them walk.”We are geographically closer to Japan than others like the United States or Europe. We people are bound to be more worried,” said President Lee Myung-bak, who has set up a ministerial task force to ensure public health and food safety.
Japan May Expand Evacuation Zone
The government is thinking of expanding the evacuation zone of 20 km around the Fukushima Nuclear Plant.Note IAEA and Greenpeace have been urging the government for a long time as they have detected large radiation activity in areas as far as 4o kms away from the plant.The Japanese government till now has only advise people in the 20-30 km zone to move away without making it mandotory.It is a bit perplexing why the government is doing it after such a long time when apparently the radioactive fallout is under more control.The government says that is worried that the long term exposure may exceed 50 millisieverts in that zone which is the maximum annual limit.But that should have been evident a long time ago.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the current 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) zone, which was based on the assumption of short-term exposure, may need to be enlarged.Current evacuation orders apply to areas where people are in danger of having received 50 millisieverts,” Mr. Edano said. “We are now looking into what to do with other areas where, with prolonged exposure, people may receive that amount.” A 50-millisievert exposure is the annual limit for a nuclear-plant worker.