Wednesday, March 30
Let us note that 06Z means 6:00 GMT or (6:00 + 9:00) 15:00 JST
From the IAEA press release:
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident Update (28 March, 23:00 UTC)
Japan Confirms Plutonium in Soil Samples at Fukushima Daiichi.After taking soil samples at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese authorities today confirmed finding traces of plutonium that most likely resulted from the nuclear accident there. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told the IAEA that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had found concentrations of plutonium in two of five soil samples.Traces of plutonium are not uncommon in soil because they were deposited worldwide during the atmospheric nuclear testing era. However, the isotopic composition of the plutonium found at Fukushima Daiichi suggests the material came from the reactor site, according to TEPCO officials. Still, the quantity of plutonium found does not exceed background levels tracked by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology over the past 30 years.
It is important to realize that plutonium is already in the background in large part because of atomic weapons test performed in the 1950s and 1960s in the atmosphere. These tests released plumes of these materials in the atmosphere. The TEPCO/Fukushima anlysis shows specifically that these soil samples have elements of the reactors as the composition of fissile material is different from the atmospheric tests of the 50-60s. From wikipedia, here is historical account on the truely known toxicity of Plutonium:
....Several populations of people who have been exposed to plutonium dust (e.g. people living down-wind of Nevada test sites, Hiroshima survivors, nuclear facility workers, and "terminally ill" patients injected with Pu in 1945–46 to study Pu metabolism) have been carefully followed and analyzed.These studies generally do not show especially high plutonium toxicity or plutonium-induced cancer results. "There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during the 1940's; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them."...