Radiation in seawater off nuclear plant spikes to 1,250 times normal

Saturday, March 26, 2011
By Paul Martin

CNN Wire Staff
CNN.com
March 26, 2011

Tokyo (CNN) — Levels of radioactive iodine in seawater just offshore of the embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant spiked to more than 1,250 times higher than normal, Japan’s nuclear and industrial safety agency said Saturday.

Samples taken Friday morning from a monitoring station 330 meters off the coast were significantly higher than results from the previous morning, when the level was 104 times above normal.

The measurements also showed high levels of cesium and were taken outside the discharge canal for the plant’s Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 reactors.

Readings from a short distance away, outside the Nos. 5 and 6 units’ discharge canal, showed lower but still high radioactive iodine levels some 284 times above normal.

These high levels suggest there may have been some sort of leakage directly into the ocean — unlikely to be because of atmosphere emissions or rain alone, said an official with the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the nuclear plant.

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