[Marxism] Experts: Radiation at Fukushima Plant Far Worse Than Thought

Ralph Johansen 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 
point yet.

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 
awfully high."

* * *

*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
    function properly.

* * *

*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

More information about the Marxism mailing list