Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fukushima recorded the highest level of radioactivity detected so far

TEPCO, which operates the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, radiation has been detected up to 4,000 millisievert per hour in the reactor building 1, which would be the highest level so far confirmed the air of the plant, Kyodo news agency reported today. The measurement was made yesterday, Friday, through a robot sent into the reactor unit 1, detailing sources of Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

The robot pollution data recorded around a pipe emitting steam, according to experts, could come from contaminated water accumulated in the elimination chamber located under the building. TEPCO said that for now the plant operators do not plan to work in that area, but on Friday nine of them entered the building to install a pressure gauge in the containment vessel.

These workers received a radiation of 4 millisievert, officials said, compared to 100 millisievert normally considered the best in emergency situations. For the specific case of Fukushima, however, the government allowed Japan to raise that limit to 250 millisievert of the seriousness of the situation.

TEPCO admitted last night that two of the plant workers received a radiation than those 250 millisievert and did not rule out that more staff in the same situation, so plan to do analysis to another 150 who performed similar work. Fukushima workers are working day and night to control the situation at the plant, whose cooling systems were damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 11 March.

Their efforts are hampered by the radioactive water that collects in the facility, which is estimated at over 105,000 tons, and prevented the passage of several areas. TEPCO provides enable new systems to decontaminate the water from June 15 but warned that, if heavy rains occur before that date, the radioactive liquid could spill outside.

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