Radiation in Fukushima, Nearby Waters Spikes
Radioactive iodine hits 10 million times normal level, forcing evacuation
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2011 5:54 AM CDT
Spiking radiation levels in and around the stricken nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan forced workers to evacuate the area yesterday.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Radiation is spiking both in and around the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, forcing workers to evacuate the plant. Radioactive iodine in water leaking from the No. 2 reactor's turbine housing unit soared to 10 million times the usual limit, said Tokyo Electric Power Co., where workers had been struggling to pump out radioactive water. Japan is “still far from the end of the accident," said the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the New York Times, adding, "More efforts should be done to put an end to the accident.”

Meanwhile, a spike in the levels of radioactive iodine—1,850 times the legal limit—has been detected in nearby seawater. Japan's nuclear authorities said that type of radiation dissipated quickly and poses little immediate risk to people or the environment, although they were not sure of the exact source of the leak, reports the Wall Street Journal. "Radioactive substances may have been transmitted through the air, or contaminated water could have drained from the plant somehow," said a spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. "I don't have further ideas."