Radiation in Japanese Seawater Spikes

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Levels of radioactive iodine in seawater near Japan's melting Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant jumped to more than 1,250 times higher than normal, Japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency said today. The high levels suggest there may have been "some sort of leakage" directly into the ocean, according an official with the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant. An official noted that drinking radioactive seawater "would be dangerous, given the radiation's potential to cause cancer," but the effect on aquatic life may be relatively minimal, as radiation tends to dilute the farther one moves away from the source. Authorities are continuing to monitor radiation levels in tap water around Japan. Meanwhile, airborne radiation levels have gone down around the country. [CNN, Reuters]