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Fear of food contamination looms

world Updated: Mar 22, 2011 23:20 IST
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The operation to cool the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has suffered a setback after smoke and vapour was seen rising from two reactors, as anxiety grew over the safety of food produced in the area.

Water in a pool for storing spent fuel was reaching boiling point, raising the possibility that spent fuel rods could be exposed in turn releasing further radiation, said an official from the nuclear safety agency.

Days after authorities reported abnormal levels of radiation in milk, some vegetables and tap water, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said high levels of radioactivity had been found in seawater near the facility, raising fears that seafood has also been contaminated. The firm added the quantities posed no immediate threat to health.

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