Japan studies flora and fauna near Fukushima plant

January 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: Japan says radiation leak risk 'significantly smaller'

Related Stories

Japan says plant clean-up will take decades

July 9, 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.

Nuclear contamination found beyond Japan no-go zone

October 5, 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.

Tokyo 'not doing enough' for Fukushima: Greenpeace

December 7, 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.

Thousands protest against nuclear power in Japan

January 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.

Recommended for you

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

Researchers find reasons behind increases in urban flooding

July 27, 2015

Scientists at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science investigating the increasing risk of 'compound flooding' for major U.S. cities have found that flooding risk is greatest for cities along the Atlantic ...

0 comments

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.