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In this study, ambient dose rates in air were observed at 34 places in eastern Japan and the contribution ratios were clarified. The mean contribution ratio of the natural radionuclides was 71 % (range 0–100 %). In most places, the natural radionuclides made a larger contribution to the ambient dose rate in air.
Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa came under fire Tuesday for what opposition lawmakers called an insensitive gaffe that appeared to ridicule the fears of people in Fukushima Prefecture over radiation exposure.
At the center of the controversy was a remark she reportedly made Sunday during a speech in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.
The Nagano-based Shinano Mainichi Shimbun on Monday quoted the Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker as saying,
“There are always those ‘anti-radiation’ people, as you may call them, who are worried about radiation no matter how low the levels are.”
As the fifth anniversary approaches of the earthquake and tsunami disaster that unleashed the nuclear catastrophe, the stricken facility is fast running out of space to position the tanks holding highly contaminated radioactive water.
As of Feb. 12, there were 1,106 massive water tanks on the premises.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the plant, constructed the tanks to store radiation-contaminated water that has been accumulating at the plant since the disaster unfolded in March 2011.
The utility plans to construct 20 more water storage tanks to accommodate 30,000 tons of water that is expected to be generated in the remaining months of 2016.
As the tanks occupy much of the parking lots, green spaces and vacant areas, TEPCO has no choice but to build new tanks in the narrow alleys between the huge containers.
The accumulation of contaminated water has been a persistent problem at the plant, which is only in the very early stages of decommissioning, a process that will take 30 to 40 years.