TOKYO — Power company officials say plutonium has been detected in the soil outside of the stricken Japanese nuclear complex.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. says in a statement that the plutonium was discovered today in five locations around the plant, which has been leaking radiation for nearly two weeks.

TEPCO official Jun Tsuruoka says the amounts were very small and were not a risk to public health.

Experts had expected traces of plutonium to be detected once crews began searching for it this week, since it is present in the nuclear fuel in the troubled complex.