Japan nuclear watchdog: radiation may be leaking continuously into sea

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March 31, 2011, 7:25 a.m. | World — by Reuters

In this March 20, 2011 aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. From left: Unit 1, partially seen; Unit 2, Unit 3 and Unit 4. (AP Photo/AIR PHOTO SERVICE) MANDATORY CREDIT


TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) - The consistently high levels of radiation found in the sea outside Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant complex may mean that radiation is leaking out continuously, Japan's nuclear watchdog said on Thursday. "That is a possibility," Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Deputy Director-General Hidehiko Nishiyama told a news conference when asked if there was continuous contamination of the sea.

He added that regulators and engineers did not know where the leaks may be.

Radioactive Iodine in seawater near the drains running from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was 4,385 times more than the legal limit, the highest recorded since the crisis was triggered by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by John Chalmers)
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