Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday that water near an outlet of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is contaminated with radiation exceeding 1,000 millisierverts per hour, Reuters reported.
TEPCO said the shaft, which stores supply cables, had a crack 20 centimeters long in the concrete that was allowing radiation to be leaked into the sea.
Workers have begun pouring concrete into the shaft to seal the crack shortly after it was detected, TEPCO added.
The spread of radioactive iodine in the sea presents no immediate danger to human health. However, the detection shows that contamination by radioactive substances has spread widely in the ocean off the Japan coast.
Officials say contamination by radioactive iodine, which had been confirmed around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, has spread to southern sea areas due to north-south ocean currents.
The officials also said the government is preparing to inject nitrogen into reactor buildings to prevent explosions caused by hydrogen leaking from the reactors.
TEPCO resumed spraying of liquid synthetic resins in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant compound on Saturday to prevent radioactive dust and particles from becoming airborne.
The synthetic resins were initially developed to prevent sand and other materials from becoming airborne at construction sites. According to Kurita Water Industries Ltd., which manufactures the resins, they become solid in half a day when the weather is good and are effective for six to 12 months.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that up to 70 percent of the large nuclear fuel stockpile at the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and up to one-third of the No. 2 reactor of the plant is damaged.
In Ishiro Honda's 1954 atomic horror classic Godzilla, the eponymous daikaiju (Japanese movie monster) came from the sea to attack Japan after radiation from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings contaminated the sea. While the original Godzilla was a metaphor for the bombings themselves he would, over his 28-film career, also be depicted as a protector of the world from environmental destruction. No one then imagined a made-in-Japan nuclear disaster that would overshadow the WWII bombings and whose environmental damage the world has yet to measure.