29 Mar '11, 12am

Plutonium found in soil around crippled Fukushima nuclear plant

TOKYO - Plutonium found in soil at the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex heightened alarm this morning over Japan's protracted battle to contain the world's worst atomic crisis in 25 years. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the radioactive material - a by-product of atomic reactions and also used in nuclear bombs - had been found in soil in five places at the plant, hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11. The drama at the six-reactor facility has compounded Japan's agony after the twin disaster left more than 28,000 people dead or missing in the devastated northeast. "I apologise for making people worried," Mr Sakae Muto, vice-president of TEPCO, said at a briefing around midnight in Tokyo. Yet he stressed the traces of plutonium-238, 239 and 240 were not dangerous and work would not be stopped. "It's not at the level that's harmful to human health...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110329-0000089/Pluton...

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