Radioactive iodine found in Japanese mothers' breast milk

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Radioactive iodine found in Japanese mothers' breast milk

Radioactive iodine found in Japanese mothers' breast milk
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The Japanese government is under pressure to launch a full investigation into the impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on mothers and babies.

It comes after the breast milk of four Japanese mothers were found to contain small amounts of radioactive iodine.

The levels are not thought to be harmful to health, but the citizens’ group which carried out the tests that led to the discovery want a swift response from government.

The Japanese authorities have announced a new law making it illegal to enter a 20 kilometre zone around the stricken plant.

Most fled the area following the March 11 earthquake/tsunami but it is believed some 60 families are still living there.

The 80,000 former residents will be allowed back in briefly to pick up belongings. Anyone else will be liable to a fine.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan, under fire for his handling of the crisis, faced yet more criticism on a visit to an evacuation centre.

“Step forward, prime minister and take the lead, exercise more leadership and end this situation as soon as possible, please! I ask you from the bottom of my heart,” said one man at the centre.

The government looks set to offer financial help to Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the crippled power plant.

They plan to set up a fund to buy preferred shares in the company, which will help TEPCO pay compensation to those hit by the crisis.