Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, has admitted that radiation near one of the tanks has increased reached 1,800 millisieverts per hour. They have also detected another leak from a pipe that connects two tanks near the detected spike.
TEPCO announced on Sunday these new discoveries at the plant, even as they are still trying to contain the 300 tons of leaked water from one of the tanks that was discovered a few weeks ago. This prompted the nuclear watchdog Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to raise the alert level to 3 or “serious condition“. Now they say that while there was is no confirmed new leaks from any of the tanks and that the water level in them has not changed, the leak in the pipes is still cause for concern and is currently being investigated. The two tanks being connected by the pipe that leaked is built from steel plates stuck together by bolts, which is the same as that of the tank that leaked.
Meanwhile the radiation level near the bottom of one of the storage tanks is actually enough to kill someone if exposed to it for four hours. TEPCO said that the radiation is from beta rays, something that is easier to protect from, rather than the more serious gamma rays. They also suspect that the higher radiation reading is probably because they are now using a measuring instrument that can register higher levels. Previously they only used ones that could read up to 100 millisieverts but now they’re using an instrument that can read up to 10,000 millisieverts. The reading from the new leak in the pipes is at 230 millisieverts and radiation has also been detected in other nearby storage tanks, with one at 70 and the other at 220.
[ via SCMP ]