ISSN 2330-717X

Japan: Tokyo Tap Water Radioactive, Unsafe For Infants


Radiation spewing from a tsunami-battered nuclear power plant  is causing wider concerns about Japan’s food chain and water supply. Meanwhile, high radiation levels and other challenges inside the facility in northeastern Japan continue to hamper efforts to
quickly restore cooling systems to all six of its reactors.

Millions of people in Tokyo received a new sobering alert on Wednesday. The metropolitan government announced radioactive iodine, exceeding the legal limit, has been detected at one of the city’s primary water purification plants.


City officials say the affected downtown facility supplies much of the tap water for Japan’s capital and five suburban districts. They say the level recorded  in the water, drawn from local rivers, is nearly double that considered safe for infants to drink, but still within limits acceptable for adults to ingest.

Hyo Yoshida is with the Tokyo Waterworks Bureau. Yoshida says it can be assumed that the source of the contamination is the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, which was
damaged by the March 11th magnitude 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami.

The announcement about Tokyo’s water came hours after shipments of more types of vegetables from Fukushima prefecture were halted.  People living in the prefecture, which has a population of two million, were also instructed to stop eating leaf vegetables harvested there.

Officials and scientists insist the levels of radioactive iodine and cesium detected in food, the air, soil and sea water, are not harmful to people.

The spreading radiation emanates from the crippled Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant.  Its cooling system was knocked out by the tsunami. Efforts continue to restore the system and cool overheated reactors and fuel rods, which are emitting the higher than normal levels of radiation which are spreading over Japan.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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