Radiation From Japan’s Damaged Nuclear Plant Off the Charts

Radiation From Japan’s Damaged Nuclear Plant Off the Charts

TOKYO, Japan, April 5, 2011 (ENS) – Workers at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are being exposed to levels of radiation so high that monitoring devices are useless, a worker measuring radiation at the plant told NHK television today.

No one can enter the Unit 1, 2, and 3 reactor buildings at the power plant because radiation levels are so high, he said, adding that pools and streams of water contaminated by high-level radiation are being found throughout the plant, crippled by a killer earthquake and tsunami March 11.

TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the Pacific Ocean before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami (Photo courtesy TEPCO)

 

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactive iodine 131 has been detected from samples of seawater near the plant in the Pacific Ocean off the northeast coast of Honshu island.

While iodine 131 has a short half life of eight days and will decay away in 16 days, Monday’s sample also contained 1.1 million times the legal limit of cesium 137, which has a half life of 30 years.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the radioactive substances are from nuclear fuel which leaked from the reactor into the water.

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