While the workers at Fukushima are continuously spraying reactor unit 3 with water from fire fighting and special forces trucks, the wider implications and impact of the nuclear disaster are becoming clearer.
Traces of radioactive Iodine have been found in Tokyo’s tap water (1.5Bq/kg). While this level does not present a serious risk, and is far below the officially allowed level (200 Bq/kg), it clearly demonstrates that the impacts of this nuclear disaster will be felt well beyond the site of the nuclear power plant itself.
More worrying is the levels of contamination founds in milk and spinach. Fifty kilometres away from the Fukushima nuclear facility, levels of radioactive iodine five times higher than officially allowed (1510 Bq/kg) have been found in milk. In an area more thans 100 km away, spinach was discivered to have radioactive iodine seven times higher (15020 Bq/kg) than the permissible levels for food. The Japanese government is considering banning the sale of all food products from the Fukushima Prefecture. Japan's Prime Minister's office has launched an official Twitter account in English, and, amongst other things, is using it to warn people in parts of the country that rain may contain small amounts of radiation. (screen shot)
The wind is still blowing most of the radioactivity to the sea, but tomorrow the forecast is towards the south in the morning and west in the afternoon.
Workers are still struggling to bring the stricken plant under control after successfully connecting reconnecting power at plants 5 and 6, the least affected so far. They hope to restore power to plants 1 and 2 later today. Water dropped at plant 3 and currently most attention is going to increasing the levels, once that is achieved they plant to focus on plant four. The situation remains perilous.
Further information: To help you decipher the complex information around radiation and health we have created a radiation guide covering effects, safety and basics of the Fukushima 1 radiation releases.