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Cesium levels in Fukushima water 8 times higher than after disaster via the Asahi Shimbun

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has reported finding radioactive cesium levels in underground water at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that is eight times greater than what it recorded right after the accident.

TEPCO, which operates the facility, said Aug. 15 that it detected 11,600 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter of contaminated water in a tunnel near the No. 1 reactor building on the side facing the ocean.

That compares with 1,490 becquerels per liter it recorded at the site shortly after the accident in March 2011.

TEPCO said it believes the readings have soared due to rainwater containing cesium flowing into the tunnel. But the amount detected is roughly one-100,000th of that found in radioactive water in a tunnel near the No. 2 reactor building.

The utility said cesium levels are lower in the tunnel near the No. 1 reactor building because sea water from tsunami had already flooded it. In contrast, water in the underground tunnels near the No. 2 and No. 3 reactor buildings was exceedingly more radioactive as highly contaminated water from their turbine buildings filled the tunnels.

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