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Radiation levels spike in seawater around Japan nuclear plant

By Adeline Yuboco     Mar 26, 2011 in World
Tokyo - The Nuclear Safety Agency of Japan confirmed on Saturday that radioactivity levels measured in the seawater surrounding the nuclear plants in Fukushima.
According to CNN News, samples taken from a monitoring station 330 meters off the coast showed levels of radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration of 1,250.8 times the safety limits. This is despite the efforts of engineers to pump puddles of radioactive water from the power plant 240 kilometers north of Tokyo.
In addition to this, high levels of Cesium were measured outside the discharge canals of nuclear plant Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. Lower readings were measured outside the units of Nos. 5 and 6, but were still recorded to be 284 times above the normal limits.
Although officials from the Tokyo Electric Co. cannot specifically pinpoint the exact cause of the spike in radioactive levels in the surrounding seawater. However, it is suspected that it was caused by a breach at the troubled nuclear plants Friday. Airborne radiation released from reactors have also been seen to have contributed to the current radiation level readings.
The rise of radioactive levels have brought newfound concern for Japan's important fishing industry, which has already been severely destroyed and damaged by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country last March 11, 2011. But Hidehiko Nishiyama—a senior official from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency—told Reuters that the contamination pose little risk to marine life.
"Ocean currents will disperse radiation particles, so it will be very diluted by the time it gets consumed by fish and seaweed," he explained. "And since [radioactive iodine] has a half-life of eight days, by the time people eat the sea products, its amount is likely to have diminished significantly."
Testing of radiation levels in seawater and marine life around a more expanded area has been scheduled to begin this coming Wednesday as ordered by the Japanese government.
More about Seawater, Radioactive levels, Fukushima Daiichi plant, Radioactive water, japan earthquake
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