Tue April 5, 2011
The Two-Way

Leak At Japanese Nuclear Plant 'Seems To Be Decreasing'

The latest Associated Press report from Tokyo about the post-earthquake/tsunami crisis in Japan begins with this:

"The government set its first radiation safety standards for fish Tuesday after Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant reported radioactive contamination in nearby seawater measuring at several million times the legal limit."

For much more on what the radioactivity means for the safety of seafood from the Pacific coast of north central Japan, there's Morning Edition's long look at the sushi that comes from there. The bottomline: it should be safe.

As NPR's Greg Dixon reports from Tokyo, the radioactivity appears to be coming from the No. 2 reactor at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. Kyodo News says "60,000 tons of radioactive water is believed to be flooding the basement of reactor buildings and underground trenches" at the site.

There is some potential good news from that power plant, though. NHK reports that "the operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear plant has injected a hardening agent beneath a leaking concrete pit in a bid to stem the flow of highly radioactive water into the sea. The firm says the leakage seems to be decreasing, following the infusion of the hardening agent."

Meanwhile, other related news making headlines includes:

-- "More than 27,000 people are dead or missing from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in eastern Japan." (NHK)

-- "Tokyo Electric Power Co. will pay provisional compensation, probably by the end of this month, to residents and farmers living near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as their livelihoods have been heavily affected by the nuclear emergency there, company officials said Tuesday." (Kyodo News) Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.