– Excessive levels of strontium detected in seawater (NHK, June 13, 2011):
Radioactive strontium that exceeds the government-set safety level was detected for the first time in sea water in the inlet next to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, reported that strontinum-90, at a level 53 times higher than the safety standard was detected in samples taken from inside an inlet used exclusively by the nuclear plant, on May 16.
TEPCO also said that strontinum-90 was detected at a level 170 times higher than the standard in samples also taken on May 16, near the water intakes outside reactor number 2. At the reactor number 3 water intakes, the level was 240 times higher than the legal safety limit.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the result is not beyond their expectations because the substance was detected in an inlet used exclusively by the power plant. They say they will closely monitor the fish and shellfish in the affected area.
TEPCO announced that strontium-90 was also detected for the first time in ground water near the reactors’ buildings.
A ground water sample taken on May 18, around reactor number 2, measured 6,300 becquerels per liter. And for reactor number one, the sample showed 22 becquerels.
TEPCO explained it usually takes about 3 weeks to analyze the samples.
With a comparatively long half-life of 29 years, radioactive strontium can accumulate in the bones if inhaled, and poses a risk of cancer.