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TEPCO: Radiation leaking into sea from Fukushima plant

Aug. 22, 2013 at 5:31 PM

TOKYO, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A cooperative is suspending fishing in the waters near Japan's stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, officials said Thursday.

The announcement by the Soma Futaba fisheries cooperative followed the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s admission that highly contaminated water if leaking into the ocean from the plant, Kyodo News Service reported. The plant was crippled in 2011 by the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO said late Wednesday that radiation levels in groundwater are so high the most likely explanation is that radioactive water from the plant's cooling system is leaking from the reactors into basements and mixing with water from local aquifers,The Japan Times reported.

Tests have detected 10 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium and 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137 from the groundwater. That's 100 times the levels of radiation allowed in water flowing from the plant before the earthquake, The Mainichi Shimbun reported.

The Soma Futaba announcement followed an earlier one from another cooperative that it will not resume fishing.

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