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Breaking news: Fukushima — Radioactivity 10-million times normal detected at reactor 2

The Japanese TV channel NHK is reporting that radioactivity 10-million times higher than normal has been detected today in water flooding a basement of the turbine building of reactor number 2. The elements seems likely to have come from leaks from inside the reactor, or the water-filled supression chamber through which excess pressure from the reactor is vented and filtered. The reported dose level of 1,000 millisieverts/hr would appear to be lethal with just a few hours exposure. Workers have been evacuated from the site, which will hamper further attempts to bring the power plant under control. More later…

Update: Tepco are now saying that the earlier readings they announced are simply too high, and must be a mistake. They plan to retest the water.

For full coverage of the Fukushima disaster, go to Nature’s news special.


  1. Report this comment

    arvind mishra said:

    Its horrible!now the worst apprehensions are coming true!

  2. Report this comment

    dee said:

    The tsunami that happened in Japan is just bad. I have a lot of friends in Japan and fear for their safety, especially with radiation leak. I pray that it won’t be the same as what happened in Chernobyl.

  3. Report this comment

    Joanaroo said:

    Geez! If I was a Japanese resident, I’d be about ready to seal up the power plant with these so-called experts! For as serious as this is, the “experts” are so contradictory you wonder who has their head up their ass and who doesn’t!

  4. Report this comment

    Neil Kitson said:

    The information disaster after Fukushima is on the same scale as the tsunami. Vague radiation updates usually lack any actual measurements, and when they do, press accounts seem to confuse units, orders of magnitude of units, and units per time. Terrifying reassurances are issued by Wade Allison. The UN agency that collects data for verification of nuclear treaties has data but won’t release it. The IAEA seems useless. We need competent explanations from physicists and radiation biologists who have common sense without vested interest, and the public needs all available information and has a right to it in the public interest.

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    Uncle Al said:

    A counter going into saturation is well known. A professional counter over-reporting by a factor of 10 does not happen. 100 rads/hr detected two I-131 half-lives after the event is impressively consistent with core uncladding plus containment breach. Human lethality is now pegged at 400 rads acute dose, marked down from Cold War 600 rads.

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    azad said:

    Dear sir,

    I think there is some error in printing the head lines:

    Breaking news: Fukushima — Radioactivity 10-million times normal detected at reactor 2 – March 27, 2011

    Please review it again.

  7. Report this comment

    Christoph Scherber said:

    I wonder a bit why such imprecise estimates of radioactivity are published here. Wouldn´t some quality-check of the data have been appropriate? How many measurements were taken, and what was their standard error?

  8. Report this comment

    Henk Beens said:

    Why are the numbers given always in terms of reletive to normal. What I want to know is the exact numbers in terms of Bq, Sievert or Gray

  9. Report this comment

    Henk Beens said:

    I wonder why the data are always given relative to normal and not in terms of absolute units such as Bq, Sievert, Gray, etc

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