Sunday, March 27, 2011
Fear and confusion in Fukushima
Earlier today, TEPCO announced that the radiation in the water pool of reactor #2 had been measured at 1,000 millisieverts/h (1 sievert/h) – the highest reading so far recorded since the Fukushima disaster started. As a reminder, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a single dose of 1,000 millisieverts is enough to cause haemorrhaging, while a ten hour exposure to this dose is enough to result in death.
From Kyodo: “Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the concentration of radioactive substances of the puddle was 10 million times higher than that seen usually in water in a reactor core, but later decided to reanalyze the data because it found some errors.”
In the meantime the leak into the ocean keeps getting worse: “Radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,850.5 times the legal limit was detected in a seawater sample taken around 330 meters south of the plant, near a drainage outlet of the four troubled reactors, compared with 1,250.8 times the limit found Friday, TEPCO said.”
If this is the situation why are they not proceeding with a concrete entombment, which as in Chernobyl it would guarantee an 80 km non-inhabitable radius around Fukushima in perpetuity.
The “experts” are warming up to this idea athough as per Reuters: “Experts say there is still too much heat in the reactor cores and spent fuel at the Fukushima plant for a similar last-ditch solution to be considered yet.”
Making things much worse is that, apparently for the first time, TEPCO has ordered tests for highly toxic and extremely lethal plutonium on the site. As the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl entered its third week, the government said soil near the Fukushima plant would be tested for plutonium contamination. The radioactive metal was used in one of the reactors and its presence outside the plant would suggest the fuel rods were damaged. Soil samples have been taken and will be tested for plutonium, TEPCO told reporters.
Radiation leaks have contaminated vegetables in regions around the plant and sparked scares over tap water in Tokyo, 227 kilometers (140 miles) southwest of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. Dai-Ichi power station.
Which of course means that up until now nobody had been measuring for plutonium fall out.
Sorry, we make mistakes
After scaring the entire country TEPCO rectified on Monday that a very high radiation reading that had sent workers fleeing the No. 2 reactor was erroneous. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) vice-president Sakae Muto apologised for Sunday’s error.
Either TEPCO is completely useless and it has lost complete control of the situation or they are well aware of the tragic situation and are trying to do damage control simply on a PR level, either way the situation is far from under control and dangerously under-reported by the press.
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