Off the Scale: Radiation in No. 1 reactor building exceeds 1,000 millisieverts per hour — Levels too high for Geiger counter to measure

Published: May 13th, 2011 at 7:51 pm ET


Primary 1 Fukushima: 1000 2nd Floor Unit 1 mSv, Mainichi, May 11, 2011:

Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on July 11 on the second floor of Unit 1 nuclear reactor Hukushima first TEPCO announced that it has measured high levels of radioactive material exceeding 1000 mSv per hour.

EX-SKF adds a more precise translation:

Measurement was done for 5 minutes starting 12:45PM on May 10 (JST), and at 1.6 meters from the floor the Geiger counter went overscale […]

Published: May 13th, 2011 at 7:51 pm ET


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. 4,000 millisieverts per hour detected at No. 1 reactor building June 4, 2011
  3. 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
  4. Highest Yet: 2 Sieverts per hour detected in No. 1 reactor building on May 13 May 14, 2011
  5. Radiation inside Reactor No. 1 drywell hits new high of 251 Sieverts per hour June 12, 2011

44 comments to Off the Scale: Radiation in No. 1 reactor building exceeds 1,000 millisieverts per hour — Levels too high for Geiger counter to measure

  • Arizonan

    Gunderson’s May 13 video has a great summary of the status of each of the reactors and fuel pools at Fukushima:

  • radegan

    That is the equivalent of 6,666.666 full mouth dental x-rays per hour.

  • hawkeye

    hells 1/2 acre

  • tony wilson

    this is a mistake or greenpeace peacenik propaganda because the greatest minds at mit stated..

    there was and will *not* be any significant release of radioactivity from the damaged Japanese reactors.

    • sbrown

      No great mind would say radioactivity *will* not be released because no academic would assume to project a future that no one could know.

    • CiaW

      You’d probably need to get them to define ‘significant release’. Some people know how to parse their words quite well.

      • Dbug

        The amount of ground contamination is expected to go up like this since the water leaking brings more and more material with it. It’s horrific.

        It does not a significant increase in what’s going into the air. Most of that right now is from steam while cooling instead, which while bad, throws levels from 100s to 1000s of times lower than what the explosions and fires in March did.

        I’m not saying that there couldn’t be large releases again, just that this isn’t it.
        If more very large releases do come, it would be from hydrogen explosions, fire, or explosive steam releases at units 2 or 3 or any fuel pond. Those things are unlikely IF temperatures can be kept down. That’s why, even if it spills a great deal of contamination on the ground, the cooling water must not stop.
        At this point with everything leaking cooling will most likely always be messy. But hopefully the things they are trying to do with both make cooling more effective, and reduce the amount of material getting out through water.

    • Cuica

      Would these be the same great minds who thought up this nuclear mess, never considering the possibility that something at some time might go wrong and then what…..
      Actually it seems that Fukushima has enjoyed great luck over the years when you think about it…the great minds constructed it on a fault line, then discovering that they did such, continued to use the reators and did i mention the great minds built the back up generators BELOW sea level…gee I wouldn’t buy a house that sat on the seashore built below sea level….this mess probably should have happened long ago…the great minds must have been concentrating there intelligence on profits and not practicalities.

      • Dbug

        The units have survived many other earthquakes. Some would say that they underestimated the worst that could happen. By when dealing with probability terms like could are too certain. What they were really thinking was that something worse than some amount was unlikely enough that it probably wouldn’t happen.

        But there were already studies before this event that said they were wrong. They didn’t act.
        The blame isn’t just with Tepco, but in the way the government regulators acted as well.

        Japan has had 58 government bureaucrats leave government to go to work for the nuclear industry. That was a mistake. We all should learn from that mistake.

        Does that happen in the US? One of the FCC commissioners that approved the Comcast NBC/Universal/GE merger, just went to work for Comcast.

        Do you think that the TV networks do a poor job of covering whats going on? Maybe it is time to rethink media consolidation, and bring broadcasting back to many smaller owners instead of the likes of GE. Units 1 and 2 are GE reactors.

        Did NBC do a good job of reporting on what’s happened to the Columbia river? If you don’t know the history, it’s on the net.
        There were already some fish unsafe for eating before Fukushima. But were we all to how and why?

        If it hadn’t been an earthquake, so other very unlikely event could have caused a similar disaster. What if a small meteor causes a tsunami? Things that can cause great harm must be designed with far greater safety margins than just for the unlikely. If that makes it too expensive, don’t build it.

        Make democracy work, make sure our representatives represent US. Don’t let officials do corporations favors and get hired by them afterwards. Demand that the FCC bring back pre-Reagan limits on broadcast station ownership. Demand that the buried FCC report on the harmful effects of media consolidation be made public. We have a good system of government. Let’s be sure it works the way it is supposed to. That requires that the media fully fill the responsibility of investigating and informing. The number one role of broadcasters should be to serve the public interests. Profits are secondary.

        Don’t let them keep us in the dark and put on fluff for news. When millions of Iraqi reconstruction dollars went missing, they covered Michael Jackson jury selection. Did you know? Demand we be shown what matters.

        /end rant mode

        Oh, ordinary people also do make questionable decisions by the ocean. California has plenty of homes that are closer to washing away with every storm. But it is pretty there… People must understand risks when making choices.

    • anonymous 2

      Universities subsist on research grants from industry.

    • Lee

      I trust you are being sarcastic. Don’t forget that US Nuclear Regulatory Agency says primary containment can never be breached. Right. IIRC all 3 containments are breached, leaking very radioactive water. It throws a real monkey wrench into the plans to flood containment of unit 1.

    • aptos

      Prove it !

  • hawkeye

    the shimparation count is now 10 cream pies per hour
    or a full curly shuffle

  • hawkeye

    the best minds at nasa and this is all you came up with

  • SteveMt

    The IAEA website has not been updated since May 11. Are there any lighst on? Is anybody home?

    Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log
    Updates of 4 – 11 May 2011

  • ZombiePlanet

    … “Industrial Safety Agency Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry”…

    WHAT in the world is that?

    Maybe they can strap 2 Geiger counter together with a bit of extension cord and give us a more accurate assessment of their incompetence, stupidity, deception, greed and outright malice against human kind.

  • hawkeye

    on the beach

  • hawkeye

    well its like this ,its friday evening
    nothing anyone can do now
    cuz there stupid has no bounds
    im out of 3 stooge tag lines anyway
    and the earthquake count is picking up today
    remember they backfilled a 100,000 year old lake to build the reactor foundations
    the lake was filled with mud muck marsh
    but the (was) lake is a caldera volcano
    like yellow stone
    not as large but big enough to get the job done
    chain of calderas in the area,,, explode every 50,000 years
    ya over do

    • dan

      It sounds like they were actually _trying_ to destroy all the life on this planet.

    • Dbug

      After the earthquake, tsunami, and start of the nuclear crisis I thought what’s next? Volcanoes, Godzilla and Rodan? Then one of the volcanes started smoking and spitting some ash. At least that apparently didn’t get any worse.

      No word on any meteors…
      Before all this started, they had at least 6 prefectures with H1N1 in the chickens. On the bright side, maybe radiation kills the virus?

      Time for some diversion other than the revolution of the month.

      Maybe it’s time to celebrate? Yesterday was Friday the 13th, and we’re still alive!

  • hawkeye

    only a fool would continue to operate the other 50 + reactors
    i think the worse is yet to happen
    the problem with the busted reactors an fuel pools is only going to get worse
    nothing can be done now
    the most stupid shit reactions were taken
    sorry for the lost souls
    the workers doing who knows what,or why
    there stories no one will hear
    the ceo an phd in there nice office counting there beans
    time to suffer the childern

    • Dbug

      “only a fool would continue to operate the other 50 + reactors”

      It may be a little like being a drug addict. It’s not easy to quit. Solar electrical and water heating panels on our houses is something we can do fairly easily and some have already. Finding other power for steel plants and factories may take more work.

      We really shouldn’t burn up all of the Earth’s petroleum products either. Even if we used none for energy, it is useful for plastics and many other essential things so it should be conserved so there is some far into the future.

      It’s ironic what a simple paradise the people of Micronesia have had, sustaining life for many centuries without fossil fuels or nuclear power… only to be losing their islands to rising oceans…

      Is going to Mars and learning how to live in a harsh environment good practice for something?

    • SteveMT

      “Is going to Mars and learning how to live in a harsh environment good practice for something?”

      I hope not good practice for the existence of future humans on this planet because of this disaster.

  • Lee

    1000 mS/hr is equivalent to 100 Rad/hr. They need to use ionization chamber instruments. Like the old civil defense meters. You can buy them in like new condition and recalibrated.

    BTW at 100 rad/hr you are talking about death in a few days. I hope the person who took those measurements got out fast.

    • radegan

      1,000 mSv/hr also = 100 REM. Annual limit for radiation workers is 25 REM….no wait, it’s just been changed, numbers just coming in – it’s now 250 REM, no wait, it’s changing, it’s up to 350….do I hear 400?

      • Dbug

        They do use different maximums for routine work, work to protect expensive property, and work to save lives. For the most part they’re keeping them from experiencing the worst short term effects. They’re not at the point of needing bone marrow transplants. Obviously they’re at risk for numerous long term problems.

        The charts rating short term exposure levels do not account for long term at all, so they’re generally of no use in judging how members of the public will fare.

        I feel sorry for the tsunami survivors that lost jobs because their businesses are gone. Some may resort to working at the plant. Since many workers get “used up” and can’t work close-in anymore after reaching dose limits, Tepco is likely to go through many more people than they currently have. Many workers at Chernobyl were exposed to even higher doses. Although perhaps still inadequate, Tepcos’ attempts to limit worker exposure do slow progress down. Tough choices.

      • Tricky Dick

        There is no upper limit. Radiation is like a vitamine. Its good for you,like bananas…

  • radegan

    I wonder if we change the name from ‘milli-Sieverts to Virgins’ could we enlist some Al Queda to work on the site?

    “So I will be receiving 1,000 Virgins per hour?”

    “You betcha, guaranteed.”

    • Dbug

      “So I will be receiving 1,000 Virgins per hour?”

      Better skip that plan, someone may think it’s worthwhile to spread virgins everywhere.

      I guess I should dig out my old civil defense meters, but I know they’re not sensitive enough to see what we’ve had, except maybe the rain. They were more the “can you peek your head outside the door” type meters.

      I wonder if any of the fallout shelters people built in the 50’s are still around. That one movie was cute… oh what was the name…?

  • SolarGeothermal

    I read this article this morning and it was actually a breath of fresh air. No pun intended.

  • Tricky Dick

    Look up: Kelly Butte(Oregon) civil defence bunker-before and after.Them weep.

  • 67Mopar

    They need to just “suck it up” and quit whining about it! Radiation is actually good for you. They just need to watch how long they’re exposed. I like to sprinkle a little uranium powder on my Cocoa Pebbles… Tee Hee Hee!