Friday, April 1, 2011

Japan radiation reaches record highs

Officials in protective gear near the Fukushima nuclear plant

Source: Press TV

The nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant is expected to worsen as radiation levels reach record highs in seawater near the nuclear site.

Authorities say radioactive iodine has soared to its highest level yet, nearly 4,400 times higher than the safe level. They also say radioactivity nearly 10,000 times above the normal limit has been detected in groundwater beneath Fukushima's No. 2 reactor, Reuters reported.

The government has ordered the evacuation of about 200,000 people living in a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius around the plant. The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) now says that unsafe levels of radiation have appeared 40km away from the site in the village of Iitate.

An abnormally high level of radioactive caesium has now appeared in beef from the area.

Police sources say radiation fears have prevented officials from collecting about one thousand bodies of victims of the March 11 mega quake and tsunami. The bodies are scattered within the 20km evacuation zone around the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant on Japan's northeast coastline.

Names of over 150,000 missing people in Japan have been recorded on a website launched by Google. The official figure of those missing after the quake stands at 28,000.

Reports from Japan say the President of the Tokyo Electric Power Company that operates Fukushima nuclear power plant, has been hospitalized for blood pressure, dizziness and fatigue.

A Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, consisting of 140 US military radiation safety experts, is now heading to Japan.

The US and Germany are also sending robots into the nuclear plant to explore and help repair damages.

The damage caused by the catastrophe is likely to exceed $300 billion.

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