According to China’s government, “extremely low” levels of radiation from Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant have spread to most Chinese provinces.
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a notice late Wednesday that radiation was detected across the country’s heavily populated eastern, northern and southern regions. However, the existing level remains far too low to be a health risk.
Earlier on Monday, Beijing said radioactive iodine was detected in a handful of provinces, but subsequent statements show a steady widening of the affected areas.
The latest ministry notice repeated earlier assertions that the amount of radioactivity was only about one-thousandth of what a person would receive during a 2,000-kilometre (1,200-mile) flight.
On March 11, a massive earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in Japan’s northern coast set off nuclear problems by knocking out power to cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant resulting in radiation leaks.
Radioactive Iodine-131, at a concentration of 4,385 times the legal level, was detected in a sample taken Thursday near the Fukushima nuclear plant.
US military has ordered Marine unit specializing in emergency nuclear response to deploy in disaster-hit Japan to assist local authorities in addressing the massive crisis in the Asian country.
The US has reported that small amounts of radioactive iodine have been found in a sample of milk in Washington.