Fukushima leaks at all-time deadly high
Workers at Fukushima nuclear power disaster have found on Monday that radiation levels are 18 times higher than anticipated. The levels are high enough to kill a person within few hours.
The new radiation spike was measured at 1,800 millisieverts an hour—36 times the annual exposure Japanese regulators says workers can endure.
During the weekend the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), revealed that a leak was found at a connecting pipe and that more leaks are suspected to be coming from three storage tanks.
Two weeks ago, TEPCO reported that 300 tons of radiation-contaminated water had seeped underground and into the sea.
The latest leaks have risen great concern about the stability of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The massive amount of water that was used to cool down the three melted reactor cores of the nuclear plant was stored in approximately 1,000 tanks, meaning there are more than 300,000 tons of contaminated water in the plant and more than 300 tanks at risk of leaking.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman, Shunichi Tanaka, expressed his concern during a conference in Tokyo. He said: “Because those tanks were built in an emergency situation, it is questionable whether sufficient ground surveys were conducted.”
He added: “We believe experienced companies did a fine job, but we still have concerns and we must step up our watch for leaks.”
Concerning this, TEPCO recently revealed that one of the tank sites had partially sunk during a test conducted to see if the tank was watertight.
On Tuesday, the Japanese government announced that a mile-long impenetrable frozen wall will be built beneath the plant to prevent groundwater from mixing with contaminated coolant water.
Experts are conducting studies into the frozen wall to verify if it would work on the plant. The project isn’t new but it has never been used on an atomic facility. The government is also carrying out a new water treatment system that will partly depurate the water from the radioactive substances. Until then, the plant will use a makeshift system.