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article imageRadiation levels in Tokyo tap water 'unfit for babies'

By Kev Hedges     Mar 23, 2011 in Health
Tokyo - Radioactive iodine levels in Tokyo's tap water have been measured at twice the level deemed to be safe. Radiation from Japan's earthquake damaged nuclear plant has now affected the water supply in Tokyo.
Meanwhile in the Fukushima prefecture, where the nuclear plant is located, people have been told not to eat certain vegetables such as spinach and leeks because of contamination fears. Authorities in Tokyo have told its citizens not to allow babies under the age of 12 months to consume tap water. All transit of milk and parsley has been halted in both Fukushima and the neighbouring prefecture of Ibaraki.
The BBC reports however that the shipment bans are more a precautionary measure than a general health warning. Earlier, the United States Food and Drug Administration halted the import of all milk and milk products and fresh fruits and vegetables from four Japanese prefectures - Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma.
The recommended water consumption safety level for young children is 100 becquerels per litre. However as Sky News reports, levels in the quake-hit capital are now at 210 becquerels per litre of iodine.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is concerned that the Japanese people "have all the food that they need during this transition period". She added, "What is most important is making sure that we help Japan deal with the after-effects of whatever occurred inside the reactors".
Rescue workers at the Fukushima nuclear complex are hoping to bring an end to the plant's crisis after rigging power lines to all six of its reactor units.
The latest condition of the six reactors
Reactor 1: Damage to the core from cooling problems. A huge hole still exists in the building where an explosion took place during a gas build up. Power lines now attached.
Reactor 2: Damage to the core from cooling problems. A hole in the building exists after the gas explosion. Containment damage suspected. Power lines now attached.
Reactor 3: Damage to the core from cooling problems. Building holed by gas blast; containment damage possible. Spent fuel pond partly refilled with water after running low. Power lines now attached.
Reactor 4: This reactor was shut down before the earthquake struck. Fires and explosion in spent fuel pond; water level back to levels before quake hit. Power lines now attached.
Reactors 5 & 6: Reactors shut down. Temperature of spent fuel pools now lowered. Temperatures here had been dangerously high. Power lines finally attached.
More about Tokyo tap water, japan earthquake, Nuclear reactor, Japan
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