NYT: Fatal Radiation Level Found at Fukushima — “Exceeded” 10 sieverts per hour, measuring device was maxed out

Published: August 2nd, 2011 at 6:12 am ET


Fatal Radiation Level Found at Fukushima Daiichi Plant, New York Times by Martin Fackler, August 1, 2011:

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said Monday that it measured the highest radiation levels within the plant since it was crippled by a devastating earthquake. However, it said the discovery would not slow continuing efforts to bring the plant’s damaged reactors under control.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power, said that workers on Monday afternoon had found an area near Reactors No. 1 and 2, where radiation levels exceeded their measuring device’s maximum reading of 10 sieverts per hour — a fatal dose for humans. […]

Published: August 2nd, 2011 at 6:12 am ET


Related Posts

  1. New indoor radiation dose record at Fukushima — 5 sieverts per hour detected at Reactor No. 1 — May be higher as it exceeded capacity of measuring device August 2, 2011
  2. “Highest radiation level since the start of the nuclear crisis”: 10 sieverts per hour measured outside between Reactors No. 1 and 2 August 1, 2011
  3. 10+ sieverts per hour means there is direct exposure to fuel rods: Australia’s former top radiation official August 2, 2011
  4. Paper: TEPCO needs to check if high radiation doses are “spreading elsewhere” — Two more spots appear to be above 10 sieverts per hour, but no plans to actually take measurements August 2, 2011
  5. AP: “Hardly any cooling water inside one of the reactors” — Water level only 6% of estimate — Radiation at 10 times fatal dose March 27, 2012

48 comments to NYT: Fatal Radiation Level Found at Fukushima — “Exceeded” 10 sieverts per hour, measuring device was maxed out

  • Can’t wait to release my next article…


    • Jon_NY Jon_NY

      Look forward to reading your always compelling prose. 🙂

      Also, have you seen this yet.


      MAGNIFICENT SUNSPOT: Double sunspot 1263 is a whopper. Its two dark cores are each wider than Earth, and the entire region stretches more than 65,000 km from end to end.

      The magnetic field of sunspot 1263 harbors energy for powerful X-class solar flares. Because the sunspot is turning to face Earth, any such eruptions in the days ahead would likely be geo-effective.


  • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

    When are you planning to release it? And do you have anything to conclude about this article?

  • Toadmac

    All will be good once human radiation exposure levels are raised to allow for instant death. At least they can say there will be instant radiation effects (death in 1-2days) but no long term illness.

    • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

      Once you are dead, there will be no further health effects as long as you keep smiling. Agencies will monitor the situation and place people into one of three categories:

      1 Dead
      2 Very dead
      3 Extremely dead

      People in category 3 will be offered the opportunity to evacuate themselves at their own risk and expense.

      • psky

        Once you are dead, your corpse can no longer contribute to the GDP. A lot more profit can be made from half-dead population.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Thank you Jon_NY for your post. I can’t find it now to reply to it.
    Ultra-High Temperature Incinerators
    Wasteful Problem, Hazardous Solutions
    Evaluation for Re-Start of Water Transfer to the High Temperature Incinerator Building in which a Water Leakage was Found (Summary)

  • James2

    Read Pallas89’s post in the “Highest reading” Enenews thread from a couple days ago.

    He notes that 10 Sieverts per hour is 87,600 sieverts annually – an astronomical figure, that will kill people instantly.

    He also states that the only protection from this type of radiation is meters-thick lead, or 100 meters of earth fill. This level of radiation will cause radiation sickness right through the other buildings on site.

    So, either one of the following is true: 1. The report is incorrect 2. Pallas is incorrect 3. Tepco and the NY times is incorrect, when they say that workers are protected with radiation proof clothing – unless the workers have mutated into superman and they can haul 1 meter thick lead suits around.

    My suspicion is the entire location will be abandoned, due to the inhospitability of the place – The readings have continued to rise unabated since the beginning.

  • Misitu

    I have added some [comments in square brackets] to a paste of the original article. The aim is to show how easy it is to spin news items.

    TOKYO — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said Monday that it measured the highest radiation levels within the plant since it was crippled by a devastating earthquake. However, it said the discovery would not slow continuing efforts
    [which are not going anywhere]
    to bring the plant’s damaged reactors under control.

    The operator, Tokyo Electric Power, said that workers on Monday afternoon had found an area near Reactors No. 1 and 2, where radiation levels exceeded their measuring device’s maximum reading of 10 sieverts per hour — a fatal dose for humans.
    [anyone remember the bit of concrete beam 1sqft across emitting 1sv/hr]

    The company said the reading was taken near a ventilation tower
    , suggesting that the contamination happened in the days immediately after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, when workers desperately tried to release flammable hydrogen gas that was then building up inside the reactor buildings. The release, known as venting, failed to prevent crippling explosions that destroyed the reactor buildings.

    The company said the workers who found the reading were safely
    [come on! with 10 sv/hr? so it was just alpha was it?]
    protected by antiradiation clothing. Tokyo Electric said it has closed off an area of several yards around where the lethal radiation level was found. The company said this would not hamper
    efforts to build a new cooling system and remove contaminated water.

    The plant has continued to spew radiation since the disaster, though levels have been dropping
    [except for Iodine-131?]
    . The operator is working to install a new makeshift cooling system by early
    next year
    [or so]
    that will
    allow it to finally shut down the plant’s three damaged reactors.

    That effort includes removing thousands of tons of highly contaminated water from the reactor buildings. On Monday, Tokyo Electric also said it will begin constructing a new wall that will extend some 60 feet
    [deep? wide? long?]
    underground to prevent
    [the further generation of worries about]
    radioactive groundwater from seeping into the nearby Pacific Ocean.


  • Steven Steven

    You have to admire the Fukushima emergency workers, it’s beyond imagination. Consider walking around that plant with every step potentially placing you too close to one of these hotspots. I can’t understand why the whole world isn’t honouring them, if they were rescuing a child from a well they’d be superstars by now.

    • James2


      Admiration is not what I feel for the Fukushima workers. Pity maybe, but certainly not admiration.

      They are obviously pawns being sacrificed at the altar of the nuke industry. Pawns just like the shills employed to troll the message boards and stack them with sometimes subtle pro nuclear or off-topic responses. Pawns just like the politicians who’ve been coerced into hiding the scope and scale of the disaster and passing laws to cover it up.

      If there was a plan to fix Fukushima, and we were doing everything humanly possible to fix the situation, instead of everything politically and possible to look like we are fixing the situation, while doing nothing and covering the whole thing up – well then those folks might deserve admiration – until then, pity is the word.

      • Steven Steven

        I normally try to look at both sides of an argument but in this case I just can’t see it. Those guys know the risks (I presume) which indicates courage and an admirable sense of duty.

        As for this :

        “Pawns just like the shills employed to troll the message boards and stack them with sometimes subtle pro nuclear or off-topic responses.”

        …. if these clowns have been active then I’d say their efforts were successful, with accusations being thrown around like confetti. Divide and conquer? Think of it as theft; don’t accuse someone unless you know, and don’t hide behind innuendo, most people here are as sharp as a tack so it reads just like an accusation.

        • James2

          No, the onsite workers don’t know the risks. If you look at the photos from even very early after the disaster struck in March, you will see very few of the workers even wore dosimeters. Of course you can’t help but know this place is dangerous, but dangerous is different than invisibly 100% fatal.

          And yes I know full well that the shills are here. No beating around the bush from me.

          I know who they are. I know where they come from. Don’t you?

          It will all be revealed in time – and the cool thing I’ve recently discovered is that those who have figured out who they are won’t have to reveal them – they will be revealed by the very hand that feeds them.

          As to the effectiveness of their efforts… Well, they have quite successfully hidden the disaster from the public. Which would’ve worked well if the disaster was controllable.

          This one is out of control as anybody, even the shills here, can plainly start to see.

          Since they are the second lowest pawns on the chessboard -slightly above the poor souls whose job is to fight an underplanned, undermanned and fruitless fatal job on the plant site. They will eventually be given a “special role”.

          The shills are probably rationalizing by telling their spouses and children that they are doing it for “national security” or for “industry protection” purposes.

          But what they don’t realize is that when the extent of this whole coverup is blown – as people start dying in droves, and the media turns back on and is looking for who to blame, the plan is that they are the ones who will be sacrificed as the true criminals. The workers onsite will be dead (so they can’t be scapegoats). The politicians and the company executives will be too powerful to go down. it will be the PR folks and the intelligence community that will be fed to the media to devour.

          • Steven Steven

            I read an article a few days ago about a young man in his twenties, a TEPCO employee, who knew the risks very well indeed. He understood that his future would no longer include marriage and children, yet felt his obligation as a skilled plant worker to be on-site and try to mitigate the impact of the disaster.

            Early on in the crisis there was a quote from one of the workers, along the lines of “We are in hell and all we can do is work our way upward”. Many of these guys lost their homes and family members in the tsunami, but presented for duty at the plant even in their grief.

            These are real people like you and I, and they are suffering. Please don’t fall into the trap of dehumanising them just because they work for ‘the other side’. This is a complex issue which is not made clear through simplification.

            You make this comment re shills: “I know who they are. I know where they come from. Don’t you?”

            I’ve had good friends turn their backs, and people I thought were ratbags lend a helping hand in a crisis. That’s in the real world. Here in cyberspace it’s hard to know anything for sure, but I’m pretty good at spotting overconfidence.

            As for your predictions, I’ll take them under advisement and file them away with all the others. They tend to make for some interesting reading after a time.

          • James2

            Steven, I disagree with you that there are “sides” on this thing. It is what it is; a huge natural disaster that caused a nuclear power facility to melt down, the Tsunami killed thousands of people and now threatens millions.

            I’m doing exactly what I think I can do to help. If someone wants me to do something more or else, all they gotta do is ask.

            I believe in getting the truth out on the table and working the issues, no matter how bad they are, and it was obvious to my lightly trained eye from the moment this happened, that the consequences of Fukushima would be very bad.

            And as my eye has gotten more and more trained on this topic, nothing about that opinion has changed – despite me actually wishing otherwise.

            Everyone here – even the ones paid to perform disinformation now know the truth – they cannot ever claim ignorance.

            In fact, what has been revealed to me during this disaster is even worse than I imagined – that an active and very politically powerful effort to cover up the facts exists and these nuke plants were not ever nearly as “safe” and as “cost effective” as we were led to believe – quite to the contrary – they are literally ticking time bombs that will continue to melt down every 10-20 years or so and the costs are so high that they all have their spent fuel rods still sitting there disintegrating – with virtually no money or plans in place to dispose of them. On top of that, the industry is introducing Mixed Oxide Fuel into old reactors, and the MOX is extremely hazardous; on the verge of apocalyptic if it melts down; and it did.

            I don’t know if Bagdad Bob really knew if the tanks were rolling on the city as he continued to declare victory but he had to know to some extent the situation was pretty dire He said later he was just doing his job until the last possible minute – but to me that excuse just doesn’t cut it.

            The Japanese people are rising up. The brave experts are getting the word out.

            As I said, I pity those poor workers. They did not ask for this, and disasters like this do take lives indiscriminately, but they should be told what they are up against. Knowing you can’t be married sort of implies you don’t know you are almost certain to be dead.

            Overconfidence – may sound like it, but the facts speak for themselves.

          • Steven Steven

            James2 the more of your material I read the more similarity I see in our perspective. I’m going to agree to disagree about the workers and concentrate on what we clearly both see as the bigger issues. Good luck with your efforts, stay safe.

          • James2


            Glad to know that we have a similar perspective. I am not about blaming someone for the disaster – I’m about minimizing the impact on human life, fixing it and preventing it from happening again.

            Personally I think the will of the people would drive the right answer, however the misinformation campaign is suppressing the will of the people. I suspect the reason is the short term economics or possibly the long term protection of the industry – or maybe even to avoid panic – But the good of the country cannot be compromised at the whim of a politician or in order to line someone’s pockets.

            And it’s not going to be successful anyway. As all here can clearly see now, the nuclear fuel cannot be contained, and so the information is going to come out, one way or the other. That’s why I was happy to hear from insiders that plan B has been decided to throw the misinformers under the bus if it comes to that. Personally I know that them even discussing that (they have) will cause the misinformation campaign to collapse.

            That is why it will not succeed, but here is why it must not succeed. Suppressing the information to the people so far has delayed action in containing the disaster, and has delayed people evacuating from it. It has and will delay international cooperation in containing the disaster and it suppresses the best minds from working on the disaster. We need all of them.

            And furthermore, this thing is going to cost an astronomical sum to fix – it cannot be paid for without the people knowing that they are fighting for human survival.

            Just in the past couple days you can see how fast this thing can get nasty, but let me tell you that you haven’t seen anything yet. This is potentially the first domino in a stack of them- there is a second powerplant less than 10 kilometers away and others nearby – and none of mankind wants to see that domino string fall – if it does, no amount of political power, economic stability or money lining ones pockets will matter – we will all be dead.

            Your last phrase is interesting.

  • Jon_NY Jon_NY

    Now they have also found the highest indoor level of radioactivity since March 11th.

    High radioactivity level at reactor building

    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has detected the highest confirmed indoor level of radioactivity at the facility since the March accident.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said on Tuesday that the level in a room on the second floor of the Number One reactor building was 5,000 millisieverts per hour.


  • Bobby1

    Rumor / supposed insider info – cracks have appeared in soil near plant, steam coming out, nobody can approach area due to high radiation.


    • Novamind

      Nice Find Thanks

    • odiez1 odiez1

      That’s seems like a China Syndrome to me..
      Black Steam!?! WTF?? It’s too late.
      Do a below ground nuke explosion and blow that place where it belongs, HELL.

      • Bobby1

        A few weeks ago Professor Koide of the Kyoto Reactor Institute said the high levels of strontium-90 in the turbine basement water from reactor #2 indicated that corium was seeping into the groundwater… that would cause steam to escape. Not surprised if this is happening now.

  • catweazel

    and that is : 5 sievert. and they had measured 250 + sievert b4 (so lie upon lie upon lie till one gets mad about computing all the BS said). somewhere near a crippled sensor in a crippled core. for the ventilation tower: in one remark on the net it was described as the down end of one of these big ventilation tower, which would make sense as down there will be a real fallout paradise with all this smoke and vapor condensing on the easiest way out

  • catweazel

    and as of now they are still thinking of the complete site as containig something… this is spongebob pooing on steroids ….

  • catweazel

    it will be abandoned soon when they realise that the mechanics to remove all that stuff still have to be invented. thx for wasting all the mujo needed time.

  • James2

    I don’t see anything that looks like Liquid Air in the video, but I do see what appears to me to be the Shared Spent Fuel Pool on fire and with open criticality – which is more shocking than anything I’ve ever witnessed.

    The first day we heard about the possibility of open criticality at Fukushima, a week or so after the Earthquake in March- I was shocked. It didn’t even register that this was possible. Now, it’s a regular occurrence to see it openly on these videos. (again – look for the gamma artifacts on the video – little white flashes that appear randomly on the screen)

    Five months ago everyone in the nuclear industry would have said what this video depicts is impossible and should be avoided at all human costs – and yet here we see it.

    Most of them are still unwilling to admit that it’s happening, yet it has. The jig is up, the noose is out….

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Moisture laden radiation filled air to the point it looks like jello.
    Yesterday..I spent all day watching them remove large pieces of fuel rod from the reactor pool 1.
    The action in the SPF’s..including common..is not in dispute with me.
    Considering the vegetated bank is quite high the large emission of light alone will show that the FISSIONING is very large.
    Also yesterday it was found ..link here somewhere ..the largest outdoor reading is from the pipe between reactors 1 and 2.
    This area needs watching.

  • James2

    I think the distortion you observe on the video is something to do with either the camera or just general heat distortion in the air – the mirage effect.

    It’s possible the camera is failing due to constant radiation bombardment.

    The only possible explanation I can think of for that fire we’ve been seeing from the buildings south of reactor #4 – which most notably contains the largest store of nuclear fuel in the complex in the Shared Spent fuel pool – is that the SSPF is on fire.

    The only thing I’ve ever seen produce flashes anything like those is from welding, but I don’t believe these flashes are for welding: First welding isn’t as continuous as this. Even when I worked in a factory that had a weld department that ran three shifts, I never saw continuous weld flashes. They start and stop. 2. It’s much too big to be a welder – that location is at least 3/4 of a kilometer from the camera. Even at this distance, these flashes are large. And third: If some sort of welding were being performed, there would be a detailed description of it issued through the media to quell the speculation.

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      There is just too much heat showing constantly in the software enhancement.
      Looking at the original explosions..the heavier materials from the blasts starting falling immediately….tons of it… a portion fell into the spent fuel pools and surrounding area….
      So the fissioning that would occur naturally with the heating up of the spent fuel has been enhanced by the contents of the reactors..like.. fresh plutonium and MOX.

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Also ..heat presents itself differently.

  • bfly

    Omg, do you think they are taking those fuel rods over to the incinerator? No, that would be to crazy???there is plenty of fuel rods from SPF 3 all over the grounds..

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Maybe incinerating or flinging them into the sea.
    I still wonder if the Waste Treatment area in a state of combustion as well.

    • Novamind

      I suspected them putting the rods in the Ocean after the crane showed up.

    • odiez1 odiez1

      There was that website sporting the notion that they were removing the rods with the giant crane, hiding the video by replaying older video on the webcame, but THN? the news video stream saw everything..
      Sounds plausible, but removing the rods out in the air would be really really dangerous, who knows if the crane hook could stay together with such immense radioactivity. Who could even go in there to attach the load?
      Sounds too insane to me.

  • StillJill StillJill

    How many people here think they are NOT dumping everything they can,….into the ocean?

  • James2

    Well, if the only choices were to dump it into the ocean or into the air, I’m going with ocean – and it may have indeed come to that choice for them.

    One thing I will point out is that the engineers there are not stupid people. They know the risks. They likely know what is going on, and they have to make hard choices.

    The stupid people are the politicians and the business leaders who are probably hampering the efforts and ignoring the advice of the engineers in order to preserve their power or their checkbooks.