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Fukushima Radiation Level 8 Times Govt Standard: TEPCO

Posted by feww on January 13, 2014

Radiation Level at Fukushima Rises to 8*mSv/yr: Report

NOTE: THE TEPCO REPORT, QUOTED BY JAPAN’S ASAHI SHIMBUN MAY BE SERIOUSLY FLAWED.

ACCORDING TO http://new.atmc.jp/ THE RADIATION LEVEL AT OR NEAR FUKUSHIMA PLANT IS ≥ 40 MICROSIEVERT PER HOUR (OR ~ 350 mSv/yr)

Radiation levels near the boundary of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have increased to 8 millisievert per year, or eight times the government standard, said Tokyo Electric Power Co. said, Asahi Shimbun quotyed the operator TEPCO as saying.

Following the discovery of leaks from the underground waste storage tanks in April,  TEPCO transferred the radioactive wastewater to hastily built storage tanks near the plant’s southern boundary, company officials said.

TEPCO says the main reason for the dramatic increase in the radiation levels are the X-rays emitted by the radioactive water held in the notorious storage tanks.

However, the background radiation level had already reached 7.8 millisievert per year in May 2013, according to the report.

fukushima
The No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, March 15, 2011. Source:  TEPCO handout.

TEPCO says the X-rays are released when beta rays from radioactive strontium and other substances in the water react with iron and other elements in the storage tank containers.

It’s true that high energy beta particles released from radioactive substances can give off bremsstrahlung x-rays when they decelerate during electromagnetic interactions as they pass through matter; however, most beta particles can be stopped by just  a few millimeter of aluminum.

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv
1 Sv = 100 rem
1mSv = 0.1 rem
1mSv = 100 millirems (mrem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  300 (3 mS/yr)
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400 (4 mS/yr)

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year, or 3 mSv/yr) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000  (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 300

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person’s age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

*Notes:

1. Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

2. The average annual radiation dose per person in the U.S. is currently 620 millirem (6.2 mSv), according to EPA. “Half of our average dose comes from natural background sources: cosmic radiation from space, naturally occurring radioactive minerals in the ground and in your body, and from the radioactive gases radon and thoron, which are created when other naturally occurring elements undergo radioactive decay. Another 48 percent of our dose comes from medical diagnostics and treatments.”

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

Related Links

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