The radioactivity of saltwater near the Fukushima nuclear power plant reached 7.5m times the legal limit last weekend but has since declined, the plant's operator reported on Tuesday as Japan made a rare appeal for Russian help to cope with the contaminated waste.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company insisted iodine, celsium and other radionuclides were being diluted to safe levels in the Pacific, but its inability to stem the leak has prompted concern among fishermen, seafood consumers and neighbouring countries.
The data was taken from an area closer to the intake pipe of the cracked No 2 reactor than previous lower readings further out to sea. Publication was held back for several days at the insistence of nuclear safety authorities who wanted Tokyo Electric to check its numbers after an earlier botched release, according to The Guardian.
The government set its first radiation safety standards for fish Tuesday after Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant reported radioactive contamination in nearby seawater measuring at several million times the legal limit.
The plant operator insisted that the radiation will rapidly disperse and that it poses no immediate danger, but an expert said exposure to the highly concentrated levels near the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant could cause immediate injury and that the leaks could result in residual contamination of the sea in the area, PanOrient News reports.