High levels of radioactive substances were found in seaweed and other seafood products near a damaged nuclear power station in north-eastern Japan, environmentalists said Thursday, DPA reported.
Greenpeace Japan said it found radioactive substances above the legal limits for consumption in 14 of 21 samples of products that included seaweed, shellfish and fish caught 22 to 60 kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
Since the plant was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, it has leaked radioactive substances into the environment. In early April, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co started to dump low-level radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean to make room for even more contaminated water that had been leaking into the sea.
Greenpeace found 127,000 becquerels of iodine-131, more than 60 times the legal limit, per kilogram of seaweed near Ena port, 50 kilometres south of the plant, and 20,000 becquerels of iodine-131 per kilogram in seaweed in Nakoso port, about 60 kilometres south of the plant.
The group detected 608 becquerels of caesium-134 and 611 becquerels of caesium-137 in whitebait caught off Nakoso port. The legal limit is 500 becquerels.
It also found 646 becquerels of caesium-134 and 639 becquerels of caesium-137 in sea cucumber in Hisanohama port, about 30 kilometres south of Fukushima Daiichi.
Jan van de Putte, a Greenpeace radioactivity safety expert, said he was worried about the "very high concentrations of iodine" found in seaweed.
He urged the government to release information on the amount of radioactivity and kind of radioactivity released into the ocean from the plant, located 250 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, and the migration mechanism of radioactivity into the sea.