TEPCO detects radioactive seawater 7.5 mln times the legal limit

08:52, April 06, 2011      

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Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Executive Vice-President Takashi Fujimoto (C) attends a press conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo April 5, 2011. TEPCO is considering conpensations for the residents near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Fujimoto said here Tuesday. (Xinhua/Kenichiro Seki) (nxl)

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said Tuesday that it had detected radioactive seawater in the Pacific Ocean with a concentration of radioactive iodine many million times the legal limit.

The operator of the striken Fukushima Daiichi (No.1) nuclear power plant said that samples taken from seawater near one of the reactors contained 7.5 million times the legal limit for radioactive iodine on April 2.

This marks the highest concentration of iodine-131 detected in seawater since the March 11 quake and tsunami damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the extent it has been freely spewing radioactive material into the sea, land and air.

TEPCO did note however that two days later, the figure dropped from 7.5 to 5 million times above the legal limit for radiation and once again issued their well-rehearsed statement claiming the contamination still does not pose an "immediate danger" and would have "no immediate impact" on the environment.

But while Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Tuesday that radiation dissipates quickly in the Pacific Ocean, they have also conceded they have no idea what the long-term affects of nuclear contamination will be on marine life.

The delay in the latest figures reaching the public comes as the beleaguered utility firm had to recheck its samples as the firm was lambasted by the government on Sunday for providing inaccurate information regarding the concentration of radiation in seawater near the plant.


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