Either some journalists are mathematically challenged, or they're deliberately trying to scare people into going along with the environmentalist agenda. Last week it was reported that radiation levels at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant were at "unimaginable levels". However, PJ Media reports:
... Most commercial nuclear reactors have what's called the "primary containment" around the reactor: a sealed steel or reinforced concrete shell around the actual reactor. Outside that is the "secondary containment," another sealed building surrounding the primary containment. The unexpectedly high radiation levels -- and 530 Sieverts is way high, no question -- were detected inside the containment, the area marked by "1."
This is important, because everyone in Japan is in the area marked by "2", technically called outside the containment. This is a Good Thing. What's even better is that we now know the radiation exposure in area 2 was only about 15 percent of what was originally thought.
So, the tl;dr here is: "Don't panic. The high radiation is only inside the reactor." I will say, though, that I wouldn't recommend anyone going into the containment vessel.
. . .
TEPCO and the Japanese government carefully measure the radioactivity in the water being released [from the damaged reactor into the sea], and report it regularly. Their February 1 report records only one significant radionuclide in the water: tritium, the third hydrogen isotope. The radioactivity level is between 780 and 820 Bq per liter of water.
What does this mean? Well, the U.S. EPA safety standard for tritium in drinking water sets an upper limit of 740 Bq/liter. Basically, you wouldn't want to drink it, right there at the outflow into the Pacific, for any extended length of time -- although it probably wouldn't hurt you.
You could swim in it, though.
There's more at the link.
Do we have to fact-check everything the mainstream media reports? I'm beginning to fear that the answer is "Yes" . . .