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Govt. Says Radioactive Substance May Reach Korea, But No Health Risks Updated: 2011-04-07 12:00:00 KST

Govt. Says Radioactive Substance May Reach Korea, But No Health Risks
The radiation leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has troubled Japan's neighboring countries including the closest nation, Korea.
Korea saw precipitation fall in most regions on Thursday, causing fears of "radioactive rain."
A large number of schools, including 41 elementary schools and 84 kindergartens, in Gyyonggi Province decided to shut down for the day while those still open refrained from outdoor activities.
Throughout the day, many covered their faces with masks while a lot more vehicles dotted the streets near schools than usual in capital Seoul as parents opted to pick up their children rather than letting them walk or take public transport.
The Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety said a small level of radioactive iodine and cesium particles were found in rain falling on Jeju Island, but it immediately played down the potential health risk, since it was a miniscule amount.
The nuclear safety agency also confirmed that the level of radioactive iodine has risen at the 12 regional inspection centers over the past two days, posting a record high figure.
The detected cesium levels ranged from 3.12 milibecquerel to 0.436, yet the agency emphasized that the detected maximum amount is still one- three-hundredth of the exposure undergone during an X-ray.

[Interview : Yoon Chul-ho, President
KINS] "If we look at radioactive iodine, the level of the substance has both increased and also decreased. The decreased levels were seen in mostly the southern regions. So in order to talk about the trend, we need more time to observe the situation."

Meanwhile, some are still worried that Korea may face increasing levels of radioactive materials due to shifting weather conditions.

[Interview : Dr. Gerhard Wotawa, GEO Coordinator
] "Our prediction related to the Fukushima incident and for Korea and its concentration level would be at least two or three times lower. And at least in Japan the situation has eased in last days, so we would not expect any high level of radioactivity in Korea."

The weather service agency brushed off concerns regarding a worsening situation or finding more radioactive substances in Korean peninsula.
Yang Ji-woo, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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