Authorities in the Fukushima region in northeastern Japan today began measuring radiation levels in kindergartens and schools.
The local government authorized the emergency program amid concern about the spread of radiation from a nuclear power plant damaged by last month's earthquake and tsunami.
Officials said radiation levels will be measured at around 1,400 schools over two days.
Meanwhile, workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have begun dumping contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean in order to free storage space for even more highly radioactive water.
Japanese media said 11,500 tons of wastewater containing radioactivity about 100 times the legal limit will be released.
Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunuami, workers have been struggling to stabilize the Fukushima plant, which has leaked substantial amounts of radiation into the air, soil, and sea in the area.
compiled from agency reports