30 MAR 2011
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Small amounts of radiation thought to come from Japan's crisis-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected across Europe.
On Tuesday (29 March), Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) said "the minutest" levels of radioactive iodine had been detected at its air monitoring stations in Oxfordshire and Glasgow over the past nine days.
It stressed however that the levels were too low to cause any risk to human health, peaking at 300 micro-becquerels per cubic metre but averaging a much lower 11 micro-becquerels over the nine-day period.
"Levels may rise in the coming days and weeks but they will be significantly below any level that could cause harm to public health," the HPA said in a statement.
Similar amounts of radioactive material have been detected in Germany and Switzerland, as workers in Japan continue their struggle to prevent radioactive water from seeping into the sea.
It emerged on Tuesday that seawater near the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors is more contaminated that previously reported, with water near reactor 1 containing radioactive iodine at 3,355 times the legal limit, according to Japan's nuclear safety agency.
Iodine 131's relatively short half-life of eight days, the time it takes to halve the radiation through natural decay, reduces the likelihood of risk to humans said an official.
Read entire article