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. stark warning

    And bree olson (to the perv set) is a goddess.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. pope lover

    Thanks for abhoring violence in Libya bud.
    That will be real helpful. At least you tried.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Indreba

    @Gentlehawk, I'm so sorry to hear what you and your family went through.It would be nice to know more and if you'd like to friend up, initially by joining a Facebook group on this Fukushima nuclear issue, you'd be so very welcome. I don't particularly want to write my personal email address here straight off. On the group you'll see the name of a well known explorer, that's a clue https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_150736704989597&ap=1

    March 27, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. L64

    So...maybe its time WE started protesting!

    March 27, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. RUFFNUTT

    time to rebuild..

    March 27, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Some obvious questions...

    Reading the press for the past 2 weeks, there are some obvious things that I really don’t understand in the way this situation is handled, monitored, and covered by the press and authorities :
    “Three men laying cable in the No. 3 unit turbine building's basement have been hospitalized after stepping in the highly radioactive water there on Thursday.”
    “Work has similar ceased at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building, where tests earlier indicated radiation 10,000 times normal in that structure's basement. “

    Why they are not using robots to do some of this work. Why they did not use robots or mechanized equipment when they needed to find out if the pools were full or empty, making measurements, making videos of the damages, etc.? Robots exist in nuclear plants, other industries, countries, space exploration, universities... Why are not they used? Why is nobody asking this obvious question?

    “Koyama told reporters that radiation alarms went off while the three men were working, but they continued with their mission for 40 to 50 minutes after assuming it was a false alarm.”
    Don’t they carry measurement devices to control the radioactivity of where they go to? Why do they need to get an alarm message from someone else?

    March 27, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Pradnyaa

    This ancient indian way to fight radiation should help-
    http://www.agnihotra.org/content/agnihotra-and-radioactivity

    March 27, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Paul Blanch

    If they are detecting Iodine 134 as reported with a 53 minute half life, to me that would indicate a re-criticallity somewhere.

    Either the presence of Iodine 134 is in error or they have huge additional problems with a critical reactor somewhere.

    March 27, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Rukidding12

      Just revised to 100,000 times normal.

      March 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. david s

    @Jazz 7 here?

    March 27, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. C-3PO

    Oh, dear.. I agree, R2, these humans will be the death of us. And who will cry for Johnny 5?

    March 27, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    This is such a scary thing...

    March 27, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. RUFFNUTT

    RADIATION doent scare me.. snakes do tho..

    March 27, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. now then

    If the pope and the donald ran the world we wouldn't have any of these crappy reactors or snakes.

    March 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 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 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. david s

    Just think most storm systems we get start in the western pacific and move east toward the north american shores.So wont we be geting radio active rain fall thus contaminating are water supply ?All that we eat depends on fresh water and so do we ! They need to stop this thing pretty soon or its reaches will be globel if not already. so much has been happening it's hard not to say we are at the door step of the begining of the end!

    March 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
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