Radiation Is Beyond Zone, Report Says

Posted: March 26, 2011 in World News

JURO OSAWA
Wall Street Journal
March 26, 2011

TOKYO—Levels of radioactivity from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex are above government limits for infants in some areas outside the plant’s 12-mile evacuation zone, according to the latest estimate to fuel an international debate over how close civilians should be allowed to the plant.

The new estimate, by a state-funded monitoring body, came as fears over Tokyo’s tap water eased. Tests Thursday showed radioactive material in a major plant supplying water to the capital has fallen beneath the level the government says could pose long-term health risks to infants. Elevated levels at the plant Tuesday and Wednesday sparked official warnings and bottled-water sales.

Japan’s Nuclear Safety Technology Center, a government monitoring group, released the estimate late Wednesday of the cumulative exposure to radiation in zones surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi complex. The estimate covered the 12 days since Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami spurred fires, explosions and spikes in radioactivity levels at the complex.

The estimate—produced by modeling radiation readings collected at various points around the plant—suggested that most areas with radiation that exceeded government thresholds fell within the 12-mile evacuation zone.

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