The Los Angeles Times is reporting that radioactive iodine levels in sea water off the coast of the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant have risen to 7.5 million times the legally "permitted" levels. Radioactive cesiuim levels are now recorded at 1.1 million times the so-called "permissible" limit. It must always be noted that even "permissible" levels are not medically considered safe levels for radiation exposure as there is no "safe" exposure level without an associated increase in risk to health.
NHK Japan news service is further reporting that the much longer lived radioactive cesium (30 year half-life) in the marine enviroment off the coast of the stricken reactor is bioaccumulating in schools of "sand lance" fish. As a result, sand lance fishing is now being restricted. The contamination of the marine food web or chain is of increasing concern. The sand lance are near shore schooling fish that form an important food source for marine life including salmon, whales and sea birds.
NHK quoted a Japanese fisherman to say, "If these contaminated leaks continue, it will gradually ruin the sea. We have only one hope, stop the leaks."
As barrier after barrier has failed to contain radiation from the multi-unit reactor accident, the containment structures have become sieves for uncontrolled releases of greater and greater amounts of radioactive isotopes leaking into the ocean and the atmosphere. High radiation levels continue to hamper and defeat repair efforts. After failure to inject concrete into one known crack with a flow rate of several tons of radioactive water per hour, TEPCO is now injecting a "liquid glass" to stem the toxic flow. The company is considering putting up offshore "silt fences" in a desparate attempt to dam the radiation closer in offshore water closer to the reactor site.
Brian Ross has also blogged at the Daily Kos about the impact of such large-scale radioactivity releases on the health of the world's oceans the life forms that live there.