TOKYO, April 1, Kyodo — More signs of serious radiation contamination in and near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were detected Thursday, with the latest data finding groundwater containing radioactive iodine 10,000 times the legal threshold and the concentration of radioactive iodine-131 in nearby seawater rising to the highest level yet.
Radioactive material was confirmed from groundwater for the first time since the March 11 quake and tsunami hit the nuclear power plant on the Pacific coast, knocking out the reactors’ key cooling functions. An official of the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said, ”We’re aware this is an extremely high figure.”
The contaminated groundwater was found from around the No. 1 reactor’s turbine building, although the radiation level of groundwater is usually so low that it cannot be measured.