Radiation has been detected in seawater in areas surrounding the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, creating one more cause for concern after radiation was found in food items and tap water.
Officials stressed that the levels -- which they said would have minuscule impact on the human body even if the seawater were ingested daily over a year -- were not cause for alarm.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, which owns the plant, said it detected radioactive iodine-131 more than 125 times higher than the legal limit in a sample of ocean water found about 0.2 miles south of the Fukushima Daiichi plant on Monday, Kyodo News Agency reported. Government and power company officials said Tuesday it would test seawater at eight locations about 18 miles off the coast.
By Tuesday morning, radiation levels at the same spot had fallen but seawater contaminated with radiation was detected in a wider area, in samples taken from as far as 10 miles south of the damaged plant, where efforts to cool the reactors have included dumping seawater on them.