18 January 2018
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  • » 03/26/2011, 00.00


    Sea near Fukushima contaminated. Radiation 1,250 times over safety limit

    Radioactive iodine leaked from the plant could also damage ground water beneath the reactors. The Japanese Agency for nuclear safety reduces alert level and hopes for a quick re-absorption of radiation by tides. According to Prime Minister Khan, the situation remains unpredictable.
    Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Radiation levels in the sea off Fukushima has climbed. Radioiodine levels present in coastal waters close to the nuclear plant are over 1250 times safety limits and and could contaminate groundwater under the reactors.

    Today, Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Japanese Agency for Nuclear Safety, partially reduced concerns over large scale contamination and explained that the radioactive iodine decays after about eight days. According to Nishiyama contaminated particles will be dragged off by the tides and this will allow the algae to absorb them.

    But a high risk of danger remains around the power plant, where yesterday two workers affected by exposure to radiation were transported to hospital.Nishiyama also confirmed the news of damage to No. 3 reactor, first reported yesterday by the officials of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

    The situation worries Prime Minister Naoto Khan, who described the situation at Fukushima as unpredictable.

    Yesterday, cabinet secretary Yukio Edanoha announced an investigation to determine why the radioactive water leaked into the sea. To date, reactor coolant has reached levels of radiation 10 thousand times higher than normal.

    In Fukushima Prefecture, the government has banned the public consumption of 11 types of green leafy vegetables to prevent contamination. Importers of Japanese products abroad have registered in recent days radiation in some food, but the amount does not pose a danger to health. China, Singapore, Hong Kong and other Asian importers have already put a ban on imports of certain vegetables, seafood and dairy products. Australia, the European Union, the United States and Russia have followed suit.

    Meanwhile, the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami continues to climb, which so far amounts to 10 thousand confirmed dead and more than 17,440 missing feared dead.

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    See also

    24/03/2011 JAPAN
    Death toll climbs amid progress at Fukushima
    Toll now stands at 26 thousand between dead or missing. The water in Tokyo returns to normal levels of radioactivity. Electricity restored to reactors 1 and 3. Three workers hospitalized for radioactive contamination. Highway to the north and the high-speed train service reopened. Many survivors not yet reached by rescue teams.

    28/03/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima still out of control: months or years to return to normal
    Radioactive levels in the sea close to the reactors 5 and 6 grows, while there are problems to reactivate the normal cooling system. A British expert says: "The complexity of the situation is certainly equal to that of Chernobyl."

    21/03/2011 JAPAN
    Fukushima: signs of progress, but alarm over contaminated water, food and milk
    The technicians at the damaged power station were able to restore electricity in three of the reactors, and are trying to restore the water pumping system. No need to further expand the evacuation area (20 km) around Fukshima, but the emergency is not yet over.

    31/03/2011 JAPAN
    Radiation risk mounts at Fukushima. Church sends volunteers to tsunami hit areas
    In the sea near the nuclear plant the concentration of radioactive iodine is 4,385 times higher than normal. Authorities claim there is no danger to health. The UN nuclear agency calls to expand the size of the evacuation area so far fixed at 20 km. In areas of the tsunami displaced people are lacking food, gas and fuel. Catholic Church gives shelter to families, women and children in homes and monasteries.

    15/03/2011 JAPAN
    Another explosion at Fukushima, growing risk of radiation
    This morning the No 2 reactor exploded and the No 4reactor caught fire. In recent days, the No. 1 and 3 had exploded. The level of radiation near the plant harmful to health. Escalation of radiation even in Tokyo. IAEA and the United States rush to aid. The stock market drops by 10%. By late afternoon, radiation levels drop.

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