It’s an announcement that anxious Japanese residents don’t want to hear, following one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters in history. The operator of Japan’s disgraced Fukushima nuclear power plant said it could not rule out the possibility that it may still be leaking radiation into the sea.
Back in March 2011, a powerful earthquake and tsunami rocked the Japanese coast. The disasters triggered meltdowns at the plant, causing radiation leakage and contamination of food and water. Wary residents were forced to evacuate. And the government declared just last December that the disaster was now under control.
But Reuters reports that the comment made by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) follows an alarming U.S. academic article. The paper, published in the journal Science, states that high radiation levels in bottom-dwelling fish caught off Fukushima prefecture indicate that there is a continued radiation leak from the nearby nuclear power plant.
Reuters asked if Tepco could confirm that the plant is not leaking radiation into the sea any more. A spokeswoman said: “Tepco cannot say such a thing, but we have confirmed that radiation levels are declining in both the sea water and seabed soil around the plant.”
The news agency reports that fishing off Fukushima prefecture, north of Tokyo, is prohibited — except for test fishing for a few species such as certain types of octopus and squid, which are shipped only when they are found to be safe.