MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russian scientists taking part in an expedition on the Professor Khlustin research vessel to analyze radiation levels in the Pacific Ocean around the Fukushima-1 nuclear reactor have noted that radioactivity levels to the east of Japan do not exceed normal levels, a statement to RIA Novosti received from the ship on Monday says.
"On Saturday, October 4, water samples were taken to determine the radioactivity of cesium isotopes, as well as Strontium-90 and Tritium ... On top of that, two other samples of tritium have been taken. Every day the filters of an air-filtering unit are changed and checked by a portable gamma-spectrometer. The presence of cesium-134 has still not been detected, as well as any anomalies in radionuclide composition. Background gamma radiation is at normal levels throughout," the statement says.
The research and training vessel the Professor Khlustin left the Russian city of Vladivostok in September to assess the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The expedition is being carried out with the support of the Russian Geographical Society and the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.
On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a powerful earthquake and a subsequent tsunami, which caused a partial meltdown of three of the plant's nuclear reactors as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and sea.
The incident was the world's worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.