News24

Radiation hotspots at Japanese schools

2012-05-07 15:01

Tokyo - Schools in north-eastern Japan are suffering from radiation hotspots more than one year after reactor meltdowns at a nuclear power station, a media report said on Monday.

There were areas where radiation could exceed the internationally recommended annual level at more than 20 schools in Fukushima prefecture's Koriyama city in April, Kyodo News reported an unnamed civil group as saying.

The hotspots reportedly affect 14 elementary, seven junior high and five nursery schools.

The figures came from official measurements taken in ditches, hedges and drains based on order in January from local education boards. Classrooms and playgrounds were already regularly examined and did not form part of the set of measurements, the report said.

When the academic year began in April, school boards lifted a ban on playing in school yards for more than three hours a day, but some parents want the ban to be re-imposed.

Several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant suffered meltdowns after the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, releasing large amounts of radiation.