Alarming Level Of Radiation Detected In Fish Caught Off Fukushima

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), operator of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, says it has detected radiation 380 times more than that of the government safety limit in a fish caught off the Fukushima prefecture.

TEPCO is measuring radiation exposure in fish and shellfish caught within 20 kilometers of the disabled plant from March this year. It caught 20 kinds of fish and shellfish from five locations from mid-July to early August.

The power utility says it detected 38,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in a rock trout caught about one kilometer off Minamisoma city on August. The level is 380 times more that of the government safety limit, and the highest so far in the firm's surveys in the area. The previous high was 18.8 times, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday.

The company said it found radioactive cesium exceeding the safety limit in nine kinds of fish and shellfish.

Fishing more than 50 kilometers north-east of the plant resumed on a trial basis for two kinds of octopus and one kind of shellfish in June. But fishing has not resumed for rock trout and other fish in which radiation was detected in the latest surveys.

TEPCO will survey the same area from next week until September-end to study rock trout, their prey such as shrimps and mud from the seabed.

The Fukushima nuke plant was knocked out in the March 11, 2011 earthquake-triggered tsunami sending out radiation that forced the evacuation of thousands of residents in a 20-kilometer radius of the plant

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