Japan plant operator says may have slowed radioactive leak

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said it had reduced the flow of highly radioactive water out of a reactor, a possible sign of progress in an almost month-long battle to contain the world’s biggest nuclear disaster in quarter of a century.

Samples of the water used to cool the damaged reactor No. 2 were 5 million times the legal limit of radioactivity, adding to fears that contaminants had spread far beyond the disaster zone.

The government said it was considering imposing radioactivity restrictions on seafood for the first time in the crisis after contaminated fish were found. India also became the first country to ban food imports from all areas of Japan over radiation fears.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said late on Tuesday that it had slowed the radioactive water flow from reactor No. 2 at its Fukushima Daiichi plant. Earlier, desperate engineers had used little more than home remedies, including a mixture of sawdust, newspaper and concrete, to stem the flow of contaminated water.