Home > Man-Made Disasters > Japan: Probe Finds High Radiation Levels at Fukushima Plant, Damage So Severe That New Technology Needed to Decommission Plant

Japan: Probe Finds High Radiation Levels at Fukushima Plant, Damage So Severe That New Technology Needed to Decommission Plant


“Tokyo:  One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and much less water to cool it than officials had estimated, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant’s stability.

A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago.

The data collected Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster is so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.

The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The No. 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.

Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of the melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor.

Particles from melted fuel have probably sent radiation levels up to a dangerously high 70 sieverts per hour inside the container, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co. The figure far exceeds the highest level previously detected, 10 sieverts per hour, which was detected around an exhaust duct shared by No. 1 and 2 units last year.” Read more.

Radiation levels at Fukushima can kill in minutes – “A lethal level of radiation has been detected inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, throwing fresh doubts over the operator’s claims that the disabled complex is under control. Engineers for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) say readings of airborne radiation inside the containment vessel of Reactor 2 showed nearly 73 sieverts per hour this week, the highest since the crisis began following the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March last year. Exposure to radiation at that level is deadly within minutes, according to Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters
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