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Record Outdoor Radiation Level Detected at Nuked Fukushima Plant

Posted by feww on December 9, 2013

Record 25 sieverts per hour detected at Fukushima No. 1 reactor: TEPCO

Radiation was detected in an area near a steel pipe that connects reactor buildings and could kill a person in 20 minutes, if exposed, local media reported.

The highest radiation level [so far] was detected at an outdoor location at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactor on Dec. 6, said Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator and the utility responsible for the clean-up of the crippled nuclear plant.

The reading of 25 sieverts per hour was taken on steel piping near an exhaust stack for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors, TEPCO reported.

An exhaust stack sits between the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, March 15, 2011. Source:  TEPCO handout.

In an earlier report, the utility announced high radiation levels of at least 10 sieverts per hour were found on the piping outside the reactor.

“TEPCO measured airborne radiation at eight locations around the piping to calculate surface radiation on two spots with particularly high readings, and found about 25 sieverts per hour and about 15 sieverts per hour, the company said,” local media reported.

Radioactive materials separated from melted fuel may have entered the pipes during venting shortly after the plant was “nuked” in March 2011 and remained there, said a TEPCO official.

The catastrophic mega earthquake that struck the Tōhoku region on March 11, 2011 triggered a major tsunami that inflicted massive damage along Japan’s east coast, paralyzing the Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) nuclear plant and causing triple meltdown with large-scale radioactive fallout.

More than 400 tons of contaminated water is being produced and stored in hastily prepared, unsuitable containers at the site each day.  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proposed last week to consider dumping toxic water into the ocean.

“Regarding the growing amounts of contaminated water at the site, TEPCO should… examine all options for its further management, including the possibility of resuming controlled discharges (into the ocean) in compliance with authorized (!) limits,” said the IAEA in a statement.

Two-thirds of evacuees from Fukushima towns won’t be returning home

A survey conducted in October by  Reconstruction Agency showed that 67.1 percent of respondents from Okuma and 64.7 percent from Futaba  had decided not to return home. The latest figures were up from 42.3 percent and 30.4 percent, respectively from a January survey, which used slightly different wording, said Asahi-Shimbun.

The towns of Okuma and Futaba were turned into ghost town following the mass evacuations that ensued the Fukushima reactor  meltdowns.

At least 73  percent of respondents from Okuma said radiation levelshad   not fallen, while 68 percent of Futaba evacuees said it would take too long before they could return to their hometown.

“The survey covered the heads of 5,043 households in Okuma and of 3,394 households in Futaba,” said the report.

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