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. gjeeee

    Call the BP team. They will clean it up!

    March 27, 2011 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    Matt

    It's an hourly rate unless otherwise stated. 1Sv is enough to do some serious damage. A few hours exposure and you are looking certain death.

    March 27, 2011 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. OBAMABLACKJESUS

    WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE, LET'S FACE IT

    SO WHY NOT REPENT YOUR SINS!

    GRAB A COPY OF THE GOOD BOOK, AND PRAY TO THE LORD.

    ALL HAIL THE BLACK JESUS!

    March 27, 2011 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
    • William

      Another right-wing moron making fun of a life-or-death situation. You probably think that 9-11 was a liberal plot.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. 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 5:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Terry - Indiana

    One thing is very clear, the power company did not have a Risk Management Plan in place that addressed all possible external forces arriving at the same time. There are several hundred people who will suffer the ultimate consequence of failed planning. As we move forward, every country that is considering nuclear power must demand a complete "What If Plan" prior to building multiple reactors at the same site.

    March 27, 2011 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. Indreba

    I love (sarcasm) all the nuclear-speak that is evolving from the press and TEPCO itself, in order to keep things as undramatic and 'normal' as possible.. for example the guy that got the megadose of radiation 'left the bulding' (NO mention of radiation sickness or death.. we are all in the dark.. but he clearly would have been taken away for urgent medical treatment if he was still alive! Then there is stuff in other articles like "That was well within the global average of naturally occurring background radiation of 0.17-0.39 microsieverts per hour, a range given by the World Nuclear Association.” The Nuclear Associations give these 'safe ranges' because they know there are going to be small leaks and some necessary ventings from reactors – but NO radiation is 'safe'. I would truly like to see what, exactly, IS a normal, worldwide, natural (ie naturally occurring from rocks in normal above ground areas that people would normally frequent etc) background reading of radiation, prior to the thousands of nuclear tests and bombs dropped in the world! If you watch this time lapse video showing all the nuclear events since 1945 globally http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLCF7vPanrY you will then begin to ask yourself what exactly this 'normal background world radiation reading' comes from, and why the population has a 30 – 45% chance of getting cancer in their lifetime! And nuclear plant accidents aren't even included in that video compilation! For those who don't know, radiation sticks around for many hundreds of years – it does NOT all just 'go away', and each release adds to the global pollution. Farmers in the UK, 25 years later, are only just, some of them, able to reclaim their land and have it certificated for use again after the radioactive pollution travelled all the way from Russia to UK over 25 years ago, thousands of miles away from the reactor disaster. People truly need to look at eco friendly ways of generating energy and some countries are already waking up to this, such as Germany. There is no excuse for putting money above lives and health.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Osama Bin Laden

    Hello everyone!

    March 27, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. john

    This ride is coming to an end. Good, cause I'm ready to get off...

    March 27, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. the donaldson for president

    Ok fine. We need a hemp based economy and energy policy. We need to allow states to file for bankruptcy so that greedy investors can be burned.
    We should end wefare payments to Cadillac moms.
    If you want to get paid for sitting around then move to oil rich nation.
    If I can get min wage workers to spit shine bathrooms in fancy hotels, you better believe I can end unemployment.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. DEanna

    Has anyone said what will happen to the fishing industry there , what effect it will have on whales and other marine life food shortages
    I dont trust the experts , they are usually lobbiest for one group or another

    March 27, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • food supply

      These low levels of radiation will kill germs in seafood thus increasing the healthfulness of eating it.
      Same goes for those eating brunch on west coast. No germs today.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Deanna,I'm seriously considering not eating fish or seafood for the foreseeable future,definitely not anything like pacific salmon.

      March 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. joe bob

    Listen up donaldson!
    The economy is booming. Folks in LA, London and Syria have never been happier.
    The fed is pouring money into the economy and everyone is happy.
    We got a good thing going here. Don't ruin it.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. GentleHawk

    I was exposed to radiation releases from Hanford nuclear plant, located in south-central Washington state, from the 1940's to the 1980;s and was diagnoed with thyroid cancer in the early 1990's In the mid 1940's the government ran an expiriment called "the Green Run" where they wanted to see what the health effects would be if they released radiation into the air and water. The radiation spread much farther than they expected. The Columbia River, and all of the food and water were contaminated with radiation. I lost my Dad to cancer in 1987. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Run The half-life of plutonium is about 10,000 years!

    March 27, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Amygadalus communis

    Being Human/Christion is very sooo very difficult. I guess I'll get better at it as Time Goes By. In a while I will reveal the secret from the Reading of 5/19/02 1:40 pm ET. The notes prelude from early this morning has not been released by the decievers @ CNN yet. Let's see if they have balls, to give Us a better shot. You deserve Your Prophocey. Let us Pray.... RELEASE MY BLOG!

    March 27, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • stark warning

      There are man super hero's but only one of them is a god.
      Charlie Sheen is the only true god.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. stark message

    Our government would never do such a thing. Would they?

    March 27, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Amygadalus communis

    A least I got Hear before the Shrill, Palin, could get her rotten Potty mouth into office! Celebrity. Think about it.

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