Workers Evacuated From Nuclear Plant as Tokyo Water Deemed Unsafe

Meanwhile water in Tokyo tested above the limits for radioactive iodine.

ByABC News
March 23, 2011, 2:36 AM

March 23, 2011— -- Black smoke emerging from Unit 3 of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan forced the temporary evacuation of workers, Tokyo's utility company said Wednesday.

Operators of the power station have been toiling to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools at the plant after it was damaged by the March 11 tsunami, which knocked out power to the cooling systems.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said today that he regrets that rain and wind have spread radiation from Fukushima.

Earlier today Japanese officials issued a statement advising that tap water in Tokyo not safe for infants as it has tested two times above the limits for radioactive iodine. The Tokyo Water Bureau said that the number of Becquerel per unit detected was 210. The allowable level for infants is 100, while the allowable level for adults is 300.

Officials said that babies in Tokyo should not be fed tap water, but that the level is not an immediate health risk for adults.

Speaking with the press today, Edano said that the Japanese government is looking into what can be done for families with infants.

Radiation has now seeped into vegetables, raw milk, the water supply and even seawater in the areas surrounding the plant.

Broccoli was added Wednesday to a list of tainted vegetables, now including spinach, canola and chrysanthemum greens.

Meanwhile, this morning a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency said that high-level radiation fields of 500 millisieverts/hr were detected at Unit 2's turbine building a few days ago, and that is preventing workers from trying to restore the power at the control room.