Japan live blog: Radiation levels spike near damaged nuclear plant
A rescue team looks for bodies among destroyed houses and debris in the tsunami-damaged town of Otsuchi in Iwate prefecture on March 26.
March 27th, 2011
09:19 AM ET

Japan live blog: Radiation levels spike near damaged nuclear plant

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit northern Japan on March 11, triggering tsunamis that caused widespread devastation and crippled a nuclear power plant. Are you in an affected area? Send an iReport. Read the full report on the quake's aftermath and check out our interactive explainer on Japan's damaged nuclear reactors.

[9:16 a.m. ET Sunday, 10:17 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Tokyo Electric says it is re-checking its results for a form of radioactive iodine in water from the No. 2 reactor's turbine building at Fukushima Daiichi after Japan's nuclear safety agency questioned extremely high figures released earlier Sunday.

[1:30 a.m. ET Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Radiation levels in pooled water tested in the No. 2 nuclear reactor's turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant are 10 million times normal, a power company official said Sunday. Japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency reports the surface water showed 1,000 millisieverts of radiation. By comparison, an individual in a developed country is naturally exposed to 3 millisieverts per year, though Japan's health ministry has set a 250 millisievert per year cumulative limit before workers must leave the plant. One person was working in and around the No. 2 reactor when the test result became known, according to an official with the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant. That individual subsequently left, and work there has stopped until the government signs off on the power company's plan to address the issue.

The process to start removing pooled water from that building had been set for late Sunday morning, Hidehiko Nishiyama, an official with Japan's nuclear safety agency, previously told reporters.

[1 a.m. ET Sunday, 2  p.m. Sunday in Tokyo] Radiation levels in pooled water tested in the No. 2 nuclear reactor's turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant are 10 million times normal, a power company official said Sunday.

Japan's nuclear and industrial safety agency reports the surface water showed 1,000 millisieverts of radiation. By comparison, an individual in a developed country is naturally exposed to 3 millisieverts per year, though Japan's health ministry has set a 250 millisievert per year cumulative limit before workers must leave the plant.

One person was working in and around the No. 2 reactor when the test result became known, according to an official with the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant. That individual subsequently left, and work there has stopped until the government signs off on the power company's plan to address the issue.

The process to start removing pooled water from that building had been set for late Sunday morning, Hidehiko Nishiyama, an official with Japan's nuclear safety agency, previously told reporters.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. danny

    p.s, can we find a safer way to boil water? this is beyond madness.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. danny

    This situation isnt going to have a neat perfect solution, its going to be messy FOREVER. but something has to be done to stop this radiation from spreading around the globe. this is a global issue at this point, and to read on CNN and other sites that it could take months is very strange to me. that is UNACCEPTABLE. construct a sarcophagus around this monster and keep it cool and venting until something final can be thought up. I dont know about everyone else, but with all these disasters lately(katrina, oil spill, etc) I see the officials dragging their feet and its CRAP. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. DO SOMETHING, WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE GOOD FOR? STOP FEEDING US LIES. STOP PANDERING TO US LIKE IDIOTS. WE ARE A LOT SMARTER THAN YOU THINK. DEMAND A RESPONSE, DON'T SIT IDLE WHILE OUR PLANET IS IRRADIATED!

    March 27, 2011 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Oneortwo

    Inconsistent reporting : one CNN article says two people were there, the other says one. Which is it?

    March 27, 2011 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chill

    Relax people. It will eventually be entombed. It took them 8 months before Chernobyl was buried. They need to cool down the rods before they do anything.

    I don't think this is an ELE event. It will be catastrophic though. Millions will die slow painful deaths from radiation poisoning.

    March 27, 2011 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Taramcar

      No one will die from rad poisoning, and definitely not millions. The main concern is the impact on agriculture and fishing.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Grnnii

    If every household took 2 people , those refugee centers could close and the elderly and children would get proper care.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. danny

    dont get your information from CNN, it is full of typos and misinformation every day. for gods sake, the onion almost never has typos and although comedic it actually makes a lot more sense than the tripe these people try to pass off as "news". did i read up there that " Official says there's 'concern' but no expectation of impact on human's health" OH REALLY???? This isn't news, it's the mouthpiece for the powers that be, and they don't want people panicking (which we shouldnt do) but they need to tell THE TRUTH. WE CAN HANDLE IT. IT'S THE SHADINESS AND SECRETS THAT MAKE PEOPLE HATE AND DISTRUST YOU, AS THEY SHOULD. The government said the air was safe to breathe in Manhattan after 9/11 and what's happening today with those people? Dead, dying, sick. They dont care about your health, only protecting their BUTTS. Its cheaper to pay you off in a lawsuit than to save you from radiation poisoning so thats what they will do. Go with your instincts, trust your gut, and try to look at reality without the lens of the media which has an agenda. Your safety means nothing to them as long as they don't get in trouble themselves, and they will tell you that levels of radiation 10 million times higher than normal is a cause for concern but poses no risk to human health. I hate this phrase but WAKE UP, or else you deserve what's coming to you.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. jane

    Humanity's mistakes in fueling our planet now have a larger global impact on our environment. This is the begining of the end for our world unless our leaders radically change our focus on generating energy.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. eddro

    With how dangerous these operations are :natural gas ,oil, and nuclear power when accidents happen whats the acceptable casualty number that they can say all this is worth it? They did come up with a number and accidents happen.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. danny

    Is genetic mutation worth charging your cell phone? Is cancer worth listening to your ipod? Is ENTIRE AREAS OF THE EARTH LEFT UNINHABITABLE FOREVER WORTH YOUR PS3???

    March 27, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Yes.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Franny

      Danny, the damage will not be immediate, but it will cause many birth defects, and will cut a life span much shorter in many cases. That is just the human damage not mention the economy will suffer greatly!

      March 27, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Franny

    Coal has killed more folks than radiation, and those are facts. However, this possible meltdown could destroy the life in our oceans not excluding the amount that will poison those by food intake, destroying fresh water, and breathing. This could be very serious, because they are not dealing with just one reactor!

    March 27, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Hotfix

      Remember at one point it could be said that wood had killed more people than coal.

      This is *one* plant, out of hundreds worldwide (many similarly situated), and I fear that it will be haunting us for many years to come. I pray the winds don't take a bad turn toward Tokyo.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Lanfear

      Yeah I'm pretty much just paranoid. That could be cause I'm high though........

      March 27, 2011 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Just cuz your paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you...

      March 27, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Neo

    Hopefully they get all this stabilized soon .... My thoughts & prayers to all the workers dealing with this situation ....
    My worry now is, what if another earthquake & or a tsunami hits the same area during this stabilization period & even into the future after they have been entombed in concrete & sand??? Being so close to the ocean ..... damn its all so sad & scary .
    If they manage to cool everything down, will ANY of the fuel rods or spent nuclear material in these reactors able to be removed to to a safe location & lessen the concentration of radiation, before they entomb them ?

    March 27, 2011 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      And what if, while moving them, a huge meteor slams into the convoy\ship. We can find enough 'what ifs' to do nothing but ask what if for years.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. glo

    I don't know much about all this,but it seems like this type of thing was bound tto happen. Nothing is worth all this. It seems like wll this nucelar stuff was not meant to exist. This is crazy we dont know what to do with it.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      The Sun is a nuclear reactor, so it was meant to exist, just not controlled by man. It is a fatal disaster waiting to happen. I mean the overseeing body allowed a reactor to be built on one of the world's most unstable fault lines anywhere. It is in Tsunami Central fir pete's sake.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. sonof syvert

    This cannot be contained by covering, This is the China syndrome±

    March 27, 2011 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Geez, CNN. Writing "the surface water showed 1,000 millisieverts of radiation" is like saying "I make 10k" Per month? Per year?

    March 27, 2011 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Lil D

    The officials can't stop any thing they have gotten us into. They don't care. Those that do care and wish to inform us, they silence.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
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