Actually, the sample was taken on April 21 but only now the researcher is disclosing it.
So, the US NRC's report in late March that the bits of spent fuel rods were found 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) from the plant was right.
From NHK World (6/5/2011):
Minute amounts of plutonium have been detected for the first time in soil outside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Shinzo Kimura of Hokkaido University collected the roadside samples in Okumamachi, some 1.7 kilometers west of the front gate of the power station. They were taken during filming by NHK on April 21st, one day before the area was designated as an exclusion zone.
Professor Masayoshi Yamamoto and researchers at a Kanazawa University laboratory analyzed the samples and found minute amounts of 3 kinds of plutonium.
The samples of plutonium-239 and 240 make up a total of 0.078 becquerels per kilogram.
This is close to the amount produced by past atomic bomb tests.
But the 3 substances are most likely to have come from the plant blasts, as their density ratio is different from those detected in the past.
Professor Yamamoto said the quantities are so minute that people's health will not be harmed.
But he recommended that the contamination near the plant should be fully investigated, saying that a study may shed light on how radioactive materials spread in the air.
Sunday, June 05, 2011 23:21 +0900 (JST)
This time, I found no egregious mistranslation from NHK World.