JAPAN | High-level radiation detected again at Fukushima Daiichi plant+

Posted on August 2, 2011

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JAPAN | KYODO | 2 August 2011

Radiation doses of more than 10 sieverts, or 10,000 millisieverts, per hour have been detected outdoors again at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, its operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday.

If exposed to such a high-level dosage of radiation in a short period of time, almost all people exposed would die, radiation experts said.

Tokyo Electric, known as TEPCO, also said radiation dosages of 5 sieverts per hour were detected indoors on the second floor of the No. 1 reactor at the plant. The amount is the highest figure for indoors.

The figure was detected in front of a pipe in an air-conditioning machine room, the utility said, adding the dosage may be larger than the measured amount as it exceeds the capacity of measuring equipment.

On Monday, Tokyo Electric said radiation doses of as high as 10 sieverts per hour were detected outside the buildings for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors.

On Tuesday, Tokyo Electric also announced more than 10 sieverts per hour were detected near the scene.

Gamma camera images which show radiation doses by color indicated red at the bottom of the main exhaust pipe between the two reactor buildings, which means that radiation doses top 10 sieverts per hour, TEPCO said.

Those images also showed red at a height of 10 meters above ground on the back of the exhaust pipe.

TEPCO said radioactive substances might have adhered to the back of the exhaust pipe after they were emitted when the company vented at the No. 1 unit to lower pressures within the reactor pressure vessel and reactor container.

TEPCO said those places with high doses of radiation pose no major trouble for the company’s work to contain the nuclear crisis and that it has no plan to measure radiation doses in detail.

On Monday, TEPCO said its plant workers confirmed the high-level doses of radioactivity Monday afternoon when they put the measuring device to the surface of the exhaust pipe. The level may have been higher than the measured amount of 10 sieverts per hour as it exceeds the capacity of measuring equipment.

Previously, the highest dose detected was 4 sieverts per hour measured at the floor of the No. 1 reactor building.

Meanwhile, State Minister Goshi Hosono, who is in charge of the nuclear accident, called Tuesday for correctly analyzing the situation, saying at a news conference that a correct grasp of the situation is essential to settle long-term issues involving the Fukushima Daiichi plant that was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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