The release of radioactive materials into the Pacific from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is being closely monitored by scientists still observing the consequences of a similar incident in Britain more than 36 years ago.

The mid-1970s saw a sharp increase in radioactive matter enter the Irish Sea following problems at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing facility in northwest England.

Although the releases were authorized, they resulted in a rise of radioactive cesium-137 and iodine-131 in the Irish Sea and the after-effects are still being monitored in the area today.