A trace amount of radioactive contaminants has been detected in rainwater on Jeju Island off South Korea’s southern coast, but it was not enough to cause public health concern, the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) said Thursday.
The country’s nuclear safety agency said tests conducted on rainwater that fell in the early morning hours of the day showed minuscule traces of iodine-131. KINS, however, noted that though concentration levels were effectively negligible, there was a six-fold increase in iodine-131 in the rain compared to that which fell on the resort island on Monday. Medical experts were quick to play down immediate health risks saying the level detected currently did not pose a health risk. Still, and as the following animation from ZAMG clearly demonstrates, a major cloud of radioactive iodine-131 is currently passing right over South Korea, Japan’s closest neighbor. This development has prompted many Koreans to rush to market to buy protective masks, umbrellas and rain coats as well as air filters. Meanwhile, the Korea Meteorological Administration said the atmospheric flow continued to head toward the east at low altitudes near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in central Japan and it is unlikely particles will be carried directly to the Korean peninsula. Yet, the animation shows quite the opposite.
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