Just yesterday I posted on Firedoglake that this was bound to happen. Now Fox News has confirmed it. This is horrible news. My heart goes out to those workers. They need better equipment and international support asap.

Power company officials say plutonium has been detected in the soil outside of the stricken Japanese nuclear complex. Tokyo Electric Power Co. says in a statement that the plutonium was discovered Monday in five locations around the plant, which has been leaking radiation for nearly two weeks.

CNN reports that the plutonium was found a week ago. This is just flabbergasting! And TEPCO has the temerity to say “not a health risk to humans.” Total BS.

The element was found in soil samples taken March 21-22 from five locations around the plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company told CNN late Monday. The company said it was equivalent to the amounts that fell on Japan following aboveground nuclear weapons tests by other countries in past decades.

“It is not a health risk to humans,” the company said. But it added, “Just in case, TEPCO will increase the monitoring of the nuclear plant grounds and the surrounding environment.”

I hope the plutonium doesn’t get into groundwater or seawater. The plutonium contamination will mean that the area around the plant will not be livable for many, many years. Japan will have a Fukushima exclusion zone like Chernobyl with no entry except for radiological inspections and maintenance allowed. I predict that this will be at least at the 12km exclusion zone.