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Radiation level normal in Russia’s Far East despite Japan nuke disaster

Radiation levels were within the norm on Sunday in the Russian Far East despite radiation leaks from Japan’s Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant severely affected by last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry reported.

Fukushima was hit by a number of explosions following a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands on March 11. Workers at the plant are still desperately trying to cool the overheating nuclear cores in the reactors in an effort to prevent nuclear fallout.

“As of 12:00 p.m. local time (5:00 a.m. Moscow time) on Sunday, no instances of radiation levels exceeding the normal level were registered in the Far Eastern regions. Radiation levels range from 13 to 19 microroentgens per hour as compared with the natural background radiation of 30 microroentgens per hour in the Far East,” the ministry said in a statement.

Trace amounts of radioactive iodine were discovered in tap water in Tokyo in the wake of the disaster at the crippled nuclear plant Fukushima, Japanese media reported.

Radiation above the national safety level was also found in the water supply in five other prefectures, said an official from Japan’s science ministry, which is monitoring radiation levels.

The Japanese government has halted sale of food products from the area of Fukushima, the International Atomic Energy Agency said as the presence of radioactive iodine contamination in food products from near the crippled plant was confirmed.

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