dimanche 29 janvier 2012

study to monitor the impact of radiation exposure on wild animals and plants

Japan will launch a comprehensive study to monitor the impact of radiation exposure on wild animals and plants around the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima.Fukushima Prefecture requested the study, which will be conducted by the Environment Ministry with the cooperation of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.Levels of radioactive cesium in wildlife will be tested at 25 locations, both at land and sea. The proposed testing sites include places with high levels of radiation and areas with less radiation for comparison purposes.The species to be studied include Japanese red pine and bristlegrass, as well as rats, frogs, and mussels.They were picked from species designated by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, an organization which deals with effects linked to exposure to radiation.Collection of some species has already begun. Researchers will check plant and animal appearance, chromosomes, and reproductive function for the influence of any radioactivity from the damaged plant.The rate of germination of seeds will also be studied.The ministry suggests that the study would have to take into account the effects of weather and other factors on the growth of wildlife. But it says it hopes to provide new insights by accumulating a sizable amount of data.The ministry plans to compile an interim report by March 2013.

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