Radioactive iodine 3,355 times legal limit found in sea water near Fukushima nuke plant

March 30th, 2011 - 4:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Mar 30 (ANI): The Japanese government’s nuclear agency has claimed that radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration of 3,355 times the maximum allowable level under the law has been detected in the seawater sample taken near the earthquake-cum-tsunami hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The highest concentration observed so far in seawater near the plant suggest that the radioactive core that has melted through the bottom of its containment vessel to a concrete floor might have leaked into the Pacific Ocean, the Kyodo news agency reports.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said the exact cause of the high iodine concentration is not known, but data taken by the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Coorporation suggest that the radiation might have leaked to the sea water somehow.

‘It is important that we keep monitoring radiation data, find out what caused the pollution as soon as possible and take measures to prevent the radiation levels from rising further,’ Nishiyama said.

High levels of radiation exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour have been detected in water in the trench connected to the No. 2 reactor’s building, with TEPCO suspecting the polluted water came from the reactor’s core.

On Saturday, 131 concentration level of iodine in the sea some 330 meters south of the drainage outlets of the affected 1-4 reactors at the plant had reached about 1,850 times higher than the legal limit, but the density had declined to around 28 times on Monday. (ANI)

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