Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor

A journalist checks the radiation level at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in February 2012
A journalist checks the radiation level with her dosimeter at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in February 2012. TEPCO, the operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, says it has detected record amounts of radiation in the basement of reactor number 1, further hampering clean-up operations.

TEPCO, the operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said Wednesday record amounts of radiation had been detected in the basement of reactor number 1, further hampering clean-up operations.

TEPCO took samples from the basement after lowering a camera and surveying instruments through a drain hole in the basement ceiling.

above in the basement reached up to 10,300 millisievert an hour, a dose that will kill humans within a short time after making them sick within minutes.

The annual allowed dose for workers at the stricken site is reached in only 20 seconds.

"Workers cannot enter the site and we must use robots for the demolition," said TEPCO.

The Fukushima operator said that radiation levels were 10 times higher than those recorded at the plant's two other crippled reactors, number two and three.

This was due to the poor state of the in the reactor compared to that in the two others.

The meltdown at the core of three of Fukushima's six reactors occurred after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and ensuing massive tsunami shut off the power supply and cooling system.

Demolition of the three reactors as well as the plant's number 4 unit is expected to take 40 years and will need the use of new technologies.


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Record high radiation at crippled Japan nuke plant

(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor (2012, June 27) retrieved 15 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-fukushima-reactor.html
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Jun 27, 2012
It's (very roughly) ~4% gammas; the rest is easily shielded betas. We know this because they went into the basements of reactor 2 and 3 and we know how long they stayed, what their measured radiation dose was and what the dose-rate measured just above the water surface was.

The dose-rate just above the water is 10300 mSv/hr. But the dose rate to a person, if they are foolish enough to go in there, is ~400 mSv/hr with decent, water-tight protective clothing.

Jun 28, 2012
With a world of 15 billion people powered exclusively by nuclear power, over 200,000 new nuclear reactors would need to be constructed.


Thats ten times the current energy consumption, and unfounded assumption. 20 000 reactors is enough to power todays world.


One could expect a melt down similar to this one once every few days.


Nope, because new reactors are designed to be much safer. So that is another unfounded assumption. In reality, it is naive to try to statistically predict what would happen in such nuclear powered world.

Jul 01, 2012
/me gets a few dozen Luminal pills. If nothing bad happens, great. First great meltdown that inundates my country in a lethal dose of radio-isotopes, I am outa here.

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