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Radioactive substances in seawater near Japan plant

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 12:07

Osaka: High levels of radioactive substances
have been detected in seawater near a quake-crippled nuclear power plant in Japan, its operator said early Tuesday.

The substances were detected in seawater which was
sampled yesterday about 100 metres south of the Fukushima No 1
plant, a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) official said,
stressing it was not a threat to human health.

"Normally, such radioactive substances are not detected
in the area," said Naoki Tsunoda, adding that the company
will continue monitoring at the same point and in other areas.
TEPCO said the level of iodine-131 was 126.7 times higher
and caesium-134 was 24.8 times higher than government-set

The level of caesium-137 was also 16.5 times higher while
that of cobalt-58 was lower than the standard, said Tsunoda.

A 9.0-magnitude quake and ensuing tsunami on March 11
devastated Japan`s northeastern Pacific coast, knocking out
the plant`s cooling systems and leaving it on the brink of a
catastrophic meltdown.

Helicopters and fire trucks have been deployed to pour
water over heating fuel rods at the plant since Thursday.


First Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 12:07
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