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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Japan : High radioactive levels detected in reactors

Article from NHK News :

" Robots have detected high levels of radioactivity inside the reactor buildings of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The plant operator says the radioactivity must be reduced to allow work inside the buildings to bring the crisis under control.

Tokyo Electric Power Company surveyed the interiors of 3 reactor buildings on Sunday and Monday using robots equipped with dosimeters and cameras.

TEPCO says that over 50 minutes the robots found18.9 millisierverts of radioactivity in reactor Number 1 and 6.46 millisierverts in Number 2. The levels are hazardous to humans even over a short period. Levels of radioactivity were not available in the Number 3 reactor.

Video footage also suggests various difficulties that could hamper operations inside the buildings.

Footage of the Number 3 reactor shows steel plates and other debris scattered on the floor following the hydrogen explosion of March 14th. The doors of the circuit box were open, raising fears that the power system has been damaged.

TEPCO says humidity inside the Number 2 reactor was 94 to 99 percent, fogging up the robot's camera lens.

The company says the humidity indicates that radioactive steam leaked into the building. It says it will need to install air conditioners to ventilate and clean the air of radioactivity before people can work there."

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