Radioactive iodine hits 3,355 times limit in Japan

OSAKA, March 30, 2011 (AFP) - The level of radioactive iodine in the sea off Japan's disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has reached its highest reading yet at 3,355 times the legal limit, Jiji press said Wednesday.

On Sunday, iodine-131 measuring 1,850 times the legal maximum were reported a few hundred metres (yards) offshore, up from 1,250 times the limit Saturday, but officials ruled out an immediate threat to marine life or to seafood safety.

This handout picture released by Greenpeace and taken on March 27, 2011 shows a Greenpeace team member holding a Geiger counter displaying radiation levels of 7.66 micro Sievert per hour in Iitate city, Fukushima. AFP

A 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11 knocked out the cooling systems of the Fukushima plant's six reactors -- triggering explosions and fires, releasing radiation and sparking global fears of a widening disaster.

Radiation from the plant northeast of Tokyo has wafted into the air, contaminating farm produce and drinking water, and seeped into the Pacific Ocean.

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