Radiation at Fukushima plant halves in a month

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The operator of Japan's tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant has said the amount of radiation being emitted from the complex has halved from a month ago, in the latest sign that efforts to bring the plant under control are progressing.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant, 150 miles north-east of Tokyo, was damaged in March by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in the world's worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago.

"Radiation from the damaged reactors is 100 million becquerels per hour, which is one eight-millionth of the amount measured soon after the accident," Tokyo Electric Power's vice-president, Zengo Aizawa, said.

Mr Aizawa said that this translates to about 0.2 millisieverts per year of radiation measured at the fringes of the plant, below the 1-millisievert safety limit according to government guidelines.

The amount is half of what Tepco announced at its review a month ago. The company formally brought forward its plan to bring the plant to a state of "cold shutdown" within this year, instead of by January as initially planned.