Radioactive dust

yonhapdust.jpg

South Korean press reports the yellow dust that blows in from China each year contains radioactive particles.

As China frets over potential nuclear fallout from Japan, its own neighbor is experiencing that same thing, courtesy of China, according to a report from South Korean media of a scientific study.

The Yonghap news agency of Seoul quoted a government think-tank Monday as saying that the yellow sand that blows in every spring from China contains trace amounts of radioactive cesium-137 “presumed to have been leaked from nuclear power plants in the neighboring country.”

If true, the report calls into question the safety of China’s existing nuclear power plants, not only its plans to build more than two dozen more in the coming years. Last week, the country’s State Council announced it had suspended construction and new project approvals to conduct a thorough safety review, in the wake of Japan’s catastrophic quake and still-looming potential nuclear crisis.