TOKYO (AP) _ Seawater outside the hobbled nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan was found to contain 3,335 times the usual amount of radioactive iodine _ the highest rate yet and a sign that more contaminated water was making its way into the ocean, officials said Wednesday.
The amount of iodine-131 found offshore some 300 yards (meters) south of the coastal Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant does not pose an immediate threat to human health but was a ``concern,'' said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official.
He said there was no fishing in the area.
``We will nail down the cause, and will do our utmost to prevent it from rising further,'' Nishiyama said.
The power plant has been leaking radiation since a March 11 tsunami slammed into Japan's northeast, knocking out power and backup systems crucial to keeping temperatures down inside the plant's reactors.
Residents within 12 miles (20 kilometers) have been evacuated, while those up to 19 miles (30 kilometers) have been urged to leave as radiation has made its way into vegetables, raw milk and water.
Last week, tap water as far away as Tokyo, 140 miles (220 kilometers) to the south, contained levels of cancer-causing iodine-131 considered unsafe for infants.
Only Unit 2 is covered with white concrete housing, seen on left of an iron tower on right, at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Other three units, Unit 1 on right of the tower, Unit 4 and Unit 3, on left and right respectively of another iron tower at second from left among the three pylons, stand with only iron frames. Workers have discovered new pools of radioactive water leaking from the nuclear complex that officials believe are behind soaring levels of radiation spreading to soil and seawater. (AP-Yonhap)
일 동북부 원전 근처의 바닷물에서 평상치의 3,335배가 넘는 방사능 물질 요오드가 검출되었다고 일본 원전관련 관리들이 수요일 말했다.
이는 이미 많은 오염된 물이 바다로 흘러 들어가고 있다는 것을 암시하고 있다고 이들은 밝혔다.
후쿠시마 발전소에서 남쪽으로 300미터 떨어진 해변가에서 발견된 요오드- 131 양은 사람들 건강에 위협이 될 정도는 아니지만 우려할 만한 수치라고 핵안전관리를 담당하는 니시야마씨는 밝혔다. 이 근방에는 어업지역은 없는 것으로 파악되었다고 말했다.
후쿠시마 원전발전소에서는 3월 11일 쓰나미가 동북지역을 강타한 이후 방사능이 유출 되어왔었다.
반경 20km 안의 거주민들은 모두 대피한 상태이며 방사능이 야채, 우유 그리고 식수에 까지 검출되자 반경 30km 안의 주민들도 떠날 것을 권유 받고 있다.
In this March 20, 2011 aerial photo taken by small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, damaged Unit 4, left, and Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (AP-Yonhap)