[Marxism] Experts: Radiation at Fukushima Plant Far Worse Than Thought
mdriscollrj at charter.net
Wed Mar 28 20:51:19 MDT 2012
March 28, 2012 <http://www.commondreams.org>
Experts: Radiation at Fukushima Plant Far Worse Than Thought
Water at surprisingly low levels; damage "worse than expected"
- Common Dreams staff
Radiation levels inside Fukushima's reactor 2 have reached fatally high
levels, and levels of water are far lower than previously thought,
experts say today.
The current radiation levels are so high that even robots cannot enter.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) says that new robots and equipment will
need to be developed to deal with the lethal levels of radiation.
TEPCO spokesperson Junichi Matsumoto told the Associated Press, "We have
to develop equipment that can tolerate high radiation" when locating and
removing melted fuel during the decommissioning.
At ten times the lethal dose, the radiation levels are at their highest
At the current level of 73 sieverts, the data gathering robots can only
stand two to three hours of exposure. But, Tsuyoshi Misawa, a reactor
physics and engineering professor at Kyoto University's Research Reactor
Institute, told The Japan Times, "Two or three hours would be too short.
At least five or six hours would be necessary." He added that "the
shallowness of the water level is a surprise, and the radiation level is
* * *
*The Japan Times: Reactor 2 radiation too high for access
73 sieverts laid to low water; dose too high even for robots*
Radiation inside the reactor 2 containment vessel at the Fukushima
No. 1 nuclear plant has reached a lethal 73 sieverts per hour and
any attempt to send robots in will require them to have greater
resistance than currently available, experts said Wednesday.
Exposure to 73 sieverts for a minute would cause nausea and seven
minutes would cause death within a month , Tokyo Electric Power Co.
The experts said the high radiation level is due to the shallow
level of coolant water --- 60 cm --- in the containment vessel,
which Tepco said in January was believed to be 4 meters deep. Tepco
has only peeked inside the reactor 2 containment vessel. It has few
clues as to the status of reactors 1 and 3, which also suffered
meltdowns, because there is no access to their insides.
The utility said the radiation level in the reactor 2 containment
vessel is too high for robots, endoscopes and other devices to
* * *
*BBC News: Probe finds high radiation in damaged Fukushima reactor
The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has said
damage to one of the reactors is much worse than previously thought.
On Tuesday workers managed to insert a probe into reactor number two
for only the second time and found damage worse than expected.
Radiation was up to 10 times the fatal dose, the highest yet
recorded at the plant. The level of water cooling the melted-down
nuclear fuel was also far lower than expected.
The other two melted-down reactors, which are yet to be examined
closely, could be in an even worse state, our correspondent adds.
*Source URL:* http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/03/28-1
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