Radioactive iodine 4,385 times legal limit found in sea water near Fukushima nuke plant

March 31st, 2011 - 6:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Tokyo, Mar. 31 (ANI): The level of radioactive iodine-131 found in seawater near the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has soared to its highest reading yet at a concentration of 4,385 times the legal limit.

Pressure is mounting on authorities in Japan to expand the 20-kilometer evacuation zone around the stricken six-reactor facility, located about 240 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, following the continuous leaking of radiation since the March 11 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami knocked out the plant’s critical cooling systems, China’s Xinhua news agency reports.

Beleaguered plant owner and operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said that the previous readings showed concentration levels at 1,250 times the legal maximum on Friday, 1,850 times the limit on Saturday and 3,355 times the limit on Tuesday.

Deputy Director-General of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Hidehiko Nishiyama conceded Thursday that radioactive materials have and continue to be freely leaking into the sea.

Nishiyama, however, said humans were not at imminent risk.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency has said it will add three new offshore monitoring stations to better gauge the rising level of radioactive seawater in the area in the light of the latest readings. (ANI)

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