Fukushima radiation: Radiation leaking from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than what officials previously thought, making the radiation level lethal enough to cause death within four hours, reports BBC News Asia on Sept. 1.
Radioactive water leaking from a disabled storage tank was tested Saturday, and the results showed perilously elevated radiation levels in and around the nuclear plant. The Fukushima meltdown is the worst nuclear crisis since the catastrophic 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCo), owners of the plant, had originally measured the radiation at around 100 millisieverts an hour.
Incredulously, those readings were grossly off because the company used equipment that only had a maximum readout potential of up to 100 millisieverts. When new devices were brought in, the actual radiation leakage was measured at a terrifying level of 1,800 millisieverts an hour.
The radiation surge highlights the struggles of the Japanese government to control the crisis. More than two years have passed since the March 2011 earthquake and subsequent flooding that resulted in a triple reactor meltdown after the plant’s cooling systems failed.
In early August, Fukushima's Daiichi nuclear power plant was discovered to be leaking radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean, but the levels of this latest test show the situation to be much worse.
“With no one seeming to know how to bring the crisis to an end, TEPCo said last week it would invite foreign decommissioning experts to advise it on how to deal with the highly radioactive water leaking from the site,” says the CS Monitor.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida allegedly even visited the famed Chernobyl site in the Ukraine, hoping to gain an understanding of strategies the Japanese government can employ to bring an end to their own nuclear catastrophe.