(TOKYO) -- Radiation levels in the seawater outside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan reached their highest levels yet Wednesday morning.
Nuclear safety officials said the seawater near the plant contains 3,335 times the normal amount of radioactive iodine.
Now, government officials are considering draping special tarps over three of the reactors to contain the radiation. It's a plan that's never been tried before and is not without risk because officials don't want more pressure to build up.
To assist in containment efforts, the U.S. government is sending radiation-hardened robots to reach areas too dangerous for workers.
Earlier this week, officials acknowledged highly dangerous plutonium was found in soil near the reactors.
Increased levels of radiation have also been detected in tap water and vegetables.
Meanwhile, Masataka Shimizu, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the company that operates the plant, has been hospitalized with hypertension, according to TEPCO spokesman Naoki Tsunoda.
It is the latest in a series of setbacks and criticism the company has faced after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami knocked out the reactor's cooling system on March 11.
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