Japan studies flora and fauna near Fukushima plant

Jan 30, 2012
This file photo shows a farmer pruning pear trees at a plantation in Fukushima prefecture. Japanese scientists are studying how radiation has affected plants and animals living near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, according to an official.

Japanese scientists are studying how radiation has affected plants and animals living near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, according to an official.

Researchers are examining , red pine trees, a certain type of shellfish and other wild flora and fauna in and around the 20 kilometre (12 mile) no-go zone surrounding the plant, an Environment Ministry official said on Monday.

"The researchers are studying the impact of high on wild animals and plants, examining the appearance, reproductive function and possible abnormalities in chromosomes," said the official.

They will also grow seeds from plant samples and monitor the offspring of animals in the research.

The study began in November and an initial report on the findings is expected in March, he said.

The Fukushima Daiichi , some 220 kilometres north of Tokyo, suffered blasts and fires after the March 11 quake and tsunami crippled its cooling systems, releasing radiation into the environment.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the area near the plant, many abandoning pets and livestock which have since gone feral.

Parts of the exclusion zone are expected to be reclassified to allow people to move back to their homes over the next few years, but other areas are expected to be uninhabitable for several decades.

Explore further: Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nuclear contamination found beyond Japan no-go zone

Oct 05, 2011

High levels of radioactive contamination have been found in soil in the capital of Japan's Fukushima prefecture, a study showed Wednesday, prompting calls to make the area a voluntary evacuation zone.

Thousands protest against nuclear power in Japan

Jan 15, 2012

About 2,000 demonstrators hit the streets of Yokohama on Saturday calling for an end to nuclear energy in Japan after the March 11 disaster that sparked the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

Japan says plant clean-up will take decades

Jul 09, 2011

Japan's prime minister said on Saturday the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant would take decades, in the first government announcement of a long-term timeframe for the clean-up.

Tokyo 'not doing enough' for Fukushima: Greenpeace

Dec 07, 2011

Fukushima's residents are being left to their fate and not enough is being done to protect them against radiation nine months after Japan's tsunami, environment group Greenpeace said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

5 hours ago

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

New challenges for ocean acidification research

Dec 19, 2014

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

Compromises lead to climate change deal

Dec 19, 2014

Earlier this month, delegates from the various states that make up the UN met in Lima, Peru, to agree on a framework for the Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to take place in Paris next year. For ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.