4,000 millisieverts per hour detected at No. 1 reactor building

Published: June 4th, 2011 at 5:25 am ET
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High levels of radiation found at Japan nuclear plant, DPA, June 4, 2011:

High levels of radiation were detected at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in north-eastern Japan, the operator said Saturday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it sent a robot into the building of reactor 1 Friday and detected up to 4,000 millisieverts per hour at the south-east corner of the building. [...]

The operator also said late Friday two workers at the plant were confirmed to have received cumulative doses of radiation far higher than the official limit.

TEPCO, which has been criticized for its lax safety management, said more workers might have been exposed to large radiation doses. [...]

Published: June 4th, 2011 at 5:25 am ET
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51 comments

Related Posts

  1. Radiation in No. 1 reactor building “far exceeded expected levels” reaching 700 millisieverts per hour — 500 million becquerels released when opening entrance May 9, 2011
  2. Off the Scale: Radiation in No. 1 reactor building exceeds 1,000 millisieverts per hour — Levels too high for Geiger counter to measure May 13, 2011
  3. Highest Yet: 2 Sieverts per hour detected in No. 1 reactor building on May 13 May 14, 2011
  4. Controversy? 500 millisieverts per hour at No. 2 says TEPCO spokesman, 500 microsieverts says Japan nuclear agency — 100 millisieverts beyond 30 km radius says Edano March 23, 2011
  5. Japan TV: Extremely high radiation at Unit 1 raises concerns about how Tepco will decommission reactor — Workers were to be in area with 1,000 millisieverts per hour for ‘clean-up’ (VIDEO) June 28, 2012

51 comments to 4,000 millisieverts per hour detected at No. 1 reactor building

  • Bread+Butter

    Surprise!

    Gov’t didn’t release radiation data after accident
    The Japanese government has expressed regret for not disclosing some important results of the radiation monitoring conducted near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant soon after the accident.

    The central and Fukushima prefectural governments collected the data to determine evacuation measures as well as food and water restrictions for residents.

    A reading on March 12th, one day after the massive earthquake and tsunami hit the plant, shows that radioactive tellurium was detected 7 kilometers away. Tellurium is produced during the melting of nuclear fuel.

    Three hours before the data was collected, the government expanded the radius of the evacuation area around the plant from 3 kilometers to 10 kilometers.

    But the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported at a news conference several hours later that the nuclear fuel was intact.

    The government also failed to disclose the high radiation levels in weeds 30 to 50 kilometers from the plant. On March 15th, 123 million becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per kilogram were detected 38 kilometers northeast of the plant.

    The nuclear safety agency says it deeply regrets not releasing the data.

    Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu of Gakushuin University says radioactive iodine has a high effect on children. He says that if the data had been released earlier, more measures could have been taken to protect them from exposure.
    Saturday, June 04, 2011 15:27 +0900 (JST)


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  • Maa

    Who can provide a link to the wind directions in Japan? thanks.


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      • I pointed you to the Sendai Airport site.

        Also ask yourself just how an amateur, independent weather service was not interrupted by the so-called mag9.0 ‘quake?

        Ask yourself ‘how come Sendai Airport itself was not affected/destroyed by this ‘quake?’

        Does anyone here TRULY comprehend the severity of a Richter 9.0 event? Have you made comparisons with recent quakes of similar severity? Chile, Kobe (_only a 7.0 yet LOOK at the damage!)

        Something is very wrong with this picture we are being painted.


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        • yes but japan is the most adequately prepared nation in respect to earthquake zoning…

          Not so much 45ft tsunamis..


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        • Bread+Butter

          Hi Joeb, other than the Kobe quake this time the epicenter was out at the ocean. You’re not trying to say the earthquake didn’t happen, are you?
          I hope so. Geez.


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          • Anna

            joeb,
            Can you repost your link you put up a couple of days ago? If they read that it would explain your questioning about the source of the tsunami.


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          • No not at all – but was it really as severe as we have been told? Comparing with Kobe, it would seem that Sendai would have got off ‘quite lightly’ if it had not been for the tsunami.

            Something does not add up, IMO.


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          • @ Anna – do you really think it will make people sit up and take notice? Surely, the majority have now been ‘hardened’ against conspiracies and the theories they have generated?

            The majority seem quite content to accept everything the LSM (Lame Stream Media) tells them. I don’t see
            Shorn O’Sannity losing his ‘job’ at Fox News…
            I don’t see a countrywide outcry about 9/11 and who really dunnit: I certainly don’t see a huge rejection of the TSA or their gestapo masters, the DHS (same name, different language) and I don’t see anyone inside or outside congress who really knows what diabolical destruction the Patriot Acts have done to your once wonderful Bill of Rights & Constitution.

            etc etc etc

            “Go back to sleep America! Your government is in control again!!!”

            /rant over\

            Oh, what the heck – if it just gets one person on the trail of finding some video _post_quake but _pre_tsunami_ in any of the east coast towns of Honshu, it would raise the Light level just a fraction more:-

            http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/fukushima.html

            Caveat lector* – this might just damage your concepts of sanity, never mind democracy! [8<

            *(reader beware)


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          • Anna

            The thing to watch for is if Japan continues to want to enrich uranium for Iran or not. If not, then that might be the smoking gun that would implicate Israel/stuxnet/eco terrorism.


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    • NowWhat

      Here’s a German language site that provides 3-day predicted fallout maps for Japan.

      http://www.zamg.ac.at/wetter/fukushima/

      So, you get more than just the predicted wind direction.


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  • irradiated californian

    so is this how much radiation the building is leaking out to the environment, or is this just how much radiation has accumulated in the building? can anyone elaborate on this a bit more clearly for others who like i don’t fully understand this radiation stuff. please and thank you :)


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    • NowWhat

      Sieverts are a measure of how much ionizing radiation (cell damaging) that you would be hit with, if you were standing in the building.

      To put the numbers in perspective there’s this from Wikipedia on the high dosage effect on the human body:

      1 – 3 Sv (1000 – 3000 mSv): Mild to severe nausea, loss of appetite, infection; more severe bone marrow, lymph node, spleen damage; recovery probable, not assured.
      3 – 6 Sv (3000 – 6000 mSv): Severe nausea, loss of appetite; hemorrhaging, infection, diarrhea, peeling of skin, sterility; death if untreated.
      6 – 10 Sv (6000 – 10000 mSv): Above symptoms plus central nervous system impairment; death expected.

      The number was given in Sieverts per hour. So according to the above 15 min in that building will make you sick. 45-90 min. will severely maim or kill you. While anything over 90 min will probably kill you with any extra time sealing the deal.

      This is part of the potentially developing nightmare scenario wherein the radiation levels keep rising until they reach the point where it’s impossible for humans, or machines (modern electronics are damaged by high radiation, too), to operate around the facility. In which case there will be no choice but to abandon the site and just let the melted cores and spent fuel pools run their spawn from hell course.

      I’d be greatly interested in seeing an analysis by an informed expert on the potential for the above to happen based on the amount of fuel, its condition, and the condition of the containment. As it is, that’s exactly the kind of analysis that will be kept from the public if the predictions were bad. So, I don’t take silence as a good sign.

      The few comments that I have read and heard by knowledgeable people are that it may take weeks, or months, for the plant site emitted radiation to reach its peak level. The fact that the overall long term trend seems to be a rising one isn’t a good sign. On a side note I take it that if spent fuel pool 4 collapses, the…


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      • NowWhat

        site will also be rendered uninhabitable. Another question would be that if the cores and containment failure make the site off limits to humans, how long will it take for the radiation to decay to levels that would allow remediation to begin? Sadly, I expect that answer is probably years. The same question would apply to a SPF 4 spill.


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        • charlie

          “make the site uninhabitable”???
          Try “make the island uninhabitable”.
          As for how long the area will be dirty, try thousands of years, and not a just a decade or two.


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          • NowWhat

            Yea, I probably should have used the term ‘unapproachable’ to apply to the plant.

            My comments were only regarding the near-term conditions at the plant site. The ramifications for Japan and other nations are another topic entirely.


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    • NowWhat

      Last comment. When you hear them discuss Becquerels (Bq) that’s a way of describing the amount of radioactive material that’s escaped the plant. Again from Wikipedia:

      “The SI unit of activity is the becquerel (Bq). One Bq is defined as one transformation (or decay) per second. Since any reasonably-sized sample of radioactive material contains many atoms, a Bq is a tiny measure of activity; amounts on the order of GBq (gigabecquerel, 1 x 10-9 decays per second) or TBq (terabecquerel, 1 x 10-12 decays per second) are commonly used.”

      If you were a farmer in Japan you’d use Becquerels to say how contaminated your soil is and Sieverts (hopefully, micro-Sieverts)to describe the ionizing radiation dose that you would get from walking around in your field.


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  • milk and cheese

    And this sociopathic behaviour is considered ‘exemplary’ by the IAEA.


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  • Ger

    This cover-up makes me SO ANGRY.

    “The nuclear safety agency says it deeply regrets not releasing the data.”

    This is such a joke. They have lost their credibility for ever. I do not buy their regrets. They will keep on playing this game. Playing with others lifes!!!


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  • “At” not “in”. Probably the only clue we get…

    So “I am assuming”; This is the entrance level reading (meaning at the door). and Around the reactor. (total cumulative reading to date).


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  • milk and cheese

    Remember that explosion on the 31st, where ‘the radiation levels have not increased’? Tepco is reassuringly consistent…if it says nothing is wrong, assume the worst.


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  • I was told by someone on a tech forum by 5am JST reactor 1 will have no water.


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  • Exposing molten fuel(Corium) to the air. Potential I believe for another explosion. Hopefully turn out wrong.


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  • damn it now I gotta stay up all night again…


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  • Tepco’s version of the local weather can be found here…

    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/f1/index-e.html

    Refresh that page, then look at the topmost PDF.

    Scroll down the PDF to find the wind direction/speed records.

    Take that data with a grain of salt.


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  • DapperDo

    I think this Radiation Unit Conversion table is pretty thorough and useful these days: http://www.civildefensemuseum.com/southrad/conversion.html

    This organization is doing a good job:
    http://www.nirs.org/fukushima/radcombined.htm
    http://www.nirs.org/radiation/radiationandchildren.pdf

    Their latest June update indicates one good point–the cooling at Reactor Unit 2 has been operating and is working to cool it down–yea! Here’s hoping & praying!


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  • nomade

    *Sigh* I tried to ask this question on the reactor #3 dump thread but they’re all busy talking about god knows what over there…harpies or something.

    Ahem. Try again. Re the news item about 4000mSv of radiation in reactor #1.

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/04_16.html

    Can anyone explain why the the highest radiation in the WHOLE BUILDING is coming from the basement.Also, why hasn’t this water cooled down. It’s been there a while and there’s a lot of it.

    I thought the basement was where all the leaking water was accumulating.

    Has the some of the core of #1 fallen into the basement too?

    Thank you.


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    • NowWhat

      Nomade,
      When they say ‘in the building’ they are referring to areas outside of the primary reactor containment within the building. You can be assured that the radiation levels within that containment are much higher.

      I suspect that the reason the water in the basement hasn’t cooled down is probably because it’s so heavily contaminated with radioactive contamination. A measurement of 4 Sieverts of radiation would indicate that quite a bit of random fission is occurring. That’s going to generate heat.

      I believe that they are pouring water into reactor 1 to keep the melted core cooled down.As the water comes into contact with that melted core material it becomes highly contaminated with radioactive material. The reactor 1 pressure vessel has holes in it, so the water leaks out into primary containment(which may actually be where the melted core now is). I can’t remember for sure, but I believe it’s been reported that reactor 1 primary containment also has cracks in it that allows that contaminated water to further leak into the basement.


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  • nomade

    PS. Doesn’t steam come from boiling water?


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  • nomade

    How are they are measuring the temperature of the water in the basement? Do they have thermometers installed down there because they were expecting to measure water temperature?

    Or is 50C just a number they pulled out of a hat?

    I see they have just re-measured the pressure inside #1 reactor. It’s almost the same as the outside atmosphere.

    The pressure inside is practically the same as the pressure outside…like when you take the lid off a pressure cooker.

    http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/05_08.html


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  • Roger

    It was bound to happen sooner or later.

    Hind sight is 20/20.

    They could have built and run these plants safely underground where they can seal it off and maintain cooling if a meltdown occurs?


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