Nightly News | March 26, 2011
>>> from japan , troubling news from the earthquake zone where workers are struggling to cool the damaged fukushima daiichi power plant . high radiation levels found in seawater near the plant two weeks after the earthquake and tsunami struck. nbc's lee cowan has our story.
>> reporter: with so much talk of the spike in radiation levels, the other spike in the death toll is sometimes lost. but it continues unabated. it is fast approaching 11,000 with nearly 18,000 still missing. at the fukushima nuclear power plant the u.s. is shipping in hundreds of thousands of gallons of freshwater to help cool the reactors. a better alternative engineers say than injecting salt water . but all of it has to drain somewhere and the government now says it may have made its way back out to sea. radiation readings in water near shore have registered 1,000 times greater than normal. japanese officials though are quick to point out that it is still within safe limits. but were angered by news that the plant's owner tepco knew radioactive water was gathering in one of the reactors but didn't disclose it until after three workers were exposed. sending two to the hospital. tepco apologized. it is that kind of revelation though that prompted japan 's prime minister to warn that it is no time to be optimistic, not yet. a sobering assessment as millions struggled to get back to some semblance of normal. there is a phrase here in japan [ speak foreign language ] it means what can you do. we hear it time and time again, over and over again. despite the circumstances live goes on. and it is. there were weddings today. at a shrine under brilliant blue skies with barely a cloud. at least not the kind you can see. a steady stream of people came to pray, new parents brought children to be blessed, this couple, a boy. just 7 weeks owed. you have to act accordingly and stay calm this young father says. i am call am. my wife isn't. although many of life's happy rituals, college graduations have been canceled. these two students weren't going to be deterred. they donned their graduation kimonos, next to the shrine the customary collection of wooden plaques inscribed with wishes, pray for japan this one read, which to many on this brilliant day, were three words that said it all. lee cowan, nbc