- Radiation Level Outside Reactor May Cause Death Within Hours
- Tokyo Electric Discovers Plutonium in Soil
- U.S. Navy Says Japan Radiation Can Be Cleaned Off Vessels With Soap And Water
Not much to add to the picture, except to highlight that what I have been saying for the past couple of weeks seems to be in line with Akira Tokuhiro, professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at the University of Idaho view: this news story is far from over.
March 28 (Bloomberg) -- A meltdown of nuclear fuel may have contributed to the highest radiation readings so far at damaged reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant, site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
Any water leakage containing fuel is "very regrettable," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a briefing in Tokyo today. Radiation detected yesterday at the No. 2 reactor could cause vomiting, hair loss and diarrhea upon exposure. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, said it doesn’t have sufficient data to be sure that a partial meltdown occurred.
“This news story is far from over,” said Akira Tokuhiro, professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at the University of Idaho. “It’s not like a flooded basement, you don’t just pump it into the street.”
March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Radiation levels that can prove fatal were detected outside reactor buildings at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant for the first time, complicating efforts to contain the worst disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Water in an underground trench outside the No. 2 reactor had levels exceeding 1 sievert an hour, a spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. told reporters in the capital today. Thirty minutes of exposure to that dose would trigger nausea and four hours might lead to death within two months, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Preventing the most-contaminated water from leaking into the ground or air is key to containing the spread of radiation beyond the plant. A partial meltdown of fuel rods in the No. 2 reactor probably caused a jump in the readings, Japan’s chief government spokesman said today.
"There’s not much good news right now," said Gennady Pshakin, a former IAEA official based in Obninsk, the site of Russia’s first nuclear power plant. "There’re questions arising on how much fuel will leak out, what isotopes will be carried and how quickly they will settle. It’s becoming less predictable."
March 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Navy, which is helping with recovery efforts following an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, said radiation on vessels from a leaking nuclear-power plant can be scrubbed off with soap and water.
“These are extremely low levels and are easily cleaned off,” Commander Jeff Davis, a spokesman for Seventh Fleet, said by phone today. “Even if they weren’t, they still wouldn’t rise to the level where they would cause any harm to human health.”
The fleet has taken steps to avoid contamination, including trying to keep ships upwind from the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, Davis said. The navy is working with Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to clear ports of debris from the March 11 tsunami and helping deliver aid, Davis said.
Concerns about radiation have disrupted commercial shipping with Hapag Lloyd AG halting services to Tokyo, the Japanese government barring vessels from within 30 kilometers (19 miles) of the plant and overseas authorities scanning cargos. The MOL Presence was rejected by a port in China last week because of “abnormal” radiation levels after passing more than 120 kilometers off the coast of Fukushima prefecture.