QINGDAO, Shandong, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have begun using a ship-borne device that provides immediate analysis of radioactivity in water, using it to check for pollution from the Fukushima nuclear accident in the Yellow Sea.
Previously, they faced the time-consuming task of transferring water into containers and bringing it to labs to check the concentration of cesium, a radionuclide. Cesium has a very low absorption rate into water, so large quantities of water must be analyzed.
The team with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) that developed the device installed it on a police patrol ship for a 10-day voyage to the Yellow Sea area earlier this month. It took just one person to run the tests.
The development team's Shi Hongqi explained that the device can filter seven liters of water per minute. It analyzed 22 samples of 800 liters in the Yellow Sea, finding no signs of dangerous radioactivity.
No specific data from the tests was disclosed, but Shi said the statistics will be included in annual SOA monitoring reports at the end of the year.
The SOA now plans to install more of these monitoring devices on police patrol ships, to check waters potentially affected by Fukushima as well as elsewhere.