Thursday, October 13, 2011

Radiation spikes in Tokyo neighborhood, officials say

An extraordinarily high level of radiation was detected in one spot in a central Tokyo residential district Thursday, prompting the local government to cordon off the small area, local officials said.

Radiation levels were higher in Tokyo's Setagaya ward than in the evacuation area around the badly damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, according to ward Mayor Nobuto Hosaka.

"We are shocked to see such high radiation level was detected in our neighborhood. We cannot leave it as is," Hosaka told reporters.

But the tsunami-struck Fukushima plant may not be the source of the radiation, Hosaka said later on state television.

Officials searching for the cause found "glass bottles in a cardboard box" in the basement of a house in the neighborhood which sent radiation detectors off the charts, he said on NHK.

"We suspect these bottles in basement could be the cause of the high radiation reading and we are hastily working to confirm it," he said.

Radiation experts are now checking what contaminated the bottles, a Setagaya ward official told CNN, declining to be named in line with policy. more