Plutonium has been detected in the soil at the Fukushima nuclear plant, Kyodo news agency reports, while radioactive water is being removed from inside the buildings in order to allow engineers to repair the plant’s cooling system.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. now says the level of radioactive contamination in the leaked water from the No. 2 reactor was 100,000 (100 thousand) times higher than normal in the reactor's cooling system.
Japan’s continuing efforts to cool reactors at the Fukushima number 1 nuclear plant are being repeatedly impeded by the wavering radiation levels. However, work that was suspended due to high radiation levels earlier on Saturday has been resumed.
The Japanese government is debating whether to expand the evacuation zone around the Fukushima power plant, where water radiation is now 10,000 times higher than the norm. The evacuation area is currently 20 kilometers around the plant.
Three workers have been exposed to harmful doses of radiation while working at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. There have been reports of a rise in temperature and new plumes of smoke rising from one of the reactors.