CNN had a story today that farm products in the area had "tested high" for radiation:
Tokyo (CNN) -- Japan's Health Ministry reported Tuesday finding radioactive materials at levels "drastically exceeding legal limits" in 11 types of vegetable grown in Fukushima Prefecture, including broccoli and cabbage, according to Kyodo News Agency.It's preferable to a melt down, of course, but the sea water cooling technique is hardly free of contamination risk. Apparently, the steam created by the hot reactors and pools is evaporating, sending the radioactive vapor over farmland in the vicinity, and it's being precipitated out by rain or the weight of the particles.
No one is saying when this all may end. The U.S. government seems to think it may be later rather than sooner. Again, from the CNN article:
Meanwhile, the process of getting Americans out of the stricken region continued Tuesday. Seven charter flights left Japan Tuesday carrying about 1,800 military dependents voluntarily evacuating from Atsugi Naval Air Facility, Yokoda Air Base and Mesawa Air Base. Some of the flights were bound for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the rest to Travis Air Force Base in California.
As the Navy continues to distribute potassium iodide to personnel, the service is instructing sailors who have come within 100 miles of the damaged reactor to take the pills, said Cmdr. Danny Hernandez.
That recommendation clashes with one issued Monday by the State Department, which said it was making available supplies of the pills to U.S. government-related personnel in Japan, but that the distribution was being carried out only as a precaution. "No one should take KI at this time," it said, referring to the salt by its chemical formula.If you are a small farmer in the area, and the half life of the dirt on your farm is much greater than your own projected lifespan, well, that isn't a promising development, is it?