The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant in 2011 has led to a spike in levels of a radioactive isotope in Californian wines, scientists say.

An increase in the levels of caesium-137 has been identified in several different wines by specialists from the University of Bordeaux in France, who say levels doubled in 2011.

Affected red and rosé wines showed different levels of the isotope, which has been released into the atmosphere by nuclear accidents and weapons tests, with darker wines collecting more of it.

They are all far below the threshold believed to cause radiation sickness in humans, but show how the material from the Fukushima disaster spread.

Historical nuclear events have also led to much higher levels of the radioactive isotope, with levels peaking roughly 150 times higher than the 2011 vintage in bottles from the 1950s and 60s.

Image: Three nuclear reactors went into meltdown at Fukushima in 2011

The Fukushima disaster took place on 11 March 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami in Japan led to three nuclear meltdowns.

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It wasn't until July 2017 that the clean-up team managed to find the missing nuclear fuel that had melted beneath the flooder reactors.

Those findings were announced at the end of a three-day inspection by a remote-controlled marine vessel, nicknamed the Little Sunfish.

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