Radiation inside Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 2 is at a shocking 530 sieverts an hour
Scientists are baffled at the extremely high level of radiation
10 sieverts of radiation is enough to kill a human in 3-weeks
The Fukushima Daiichi has been leaking radiation for 6-years straight
On Friday, March 11, 2011, the world witnessed the largest nuclear disaster in modern history when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a devastating hit from a 9.0 earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami. Now, almost 6-years later, the Fukushima Daiichi’s radiation level is higher than it has ever been.
Reactor 2 sustained the worst of the damage after a suspected explosion possibly destroyed the containment area. It was 6-years ago that Reactor 2 was producing 73 sieverts per hour. Scientists are baffled at the latest readings that show the radiation levels from Reactor 2 were at a shocking 530 sieverts per hour.
Tokyo Electric Power Company
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) claims to have no explanation for the rising level of radiation in Reactor 2, but have stated that the radiation is “safely” contained within the reactor. TEPCO claims that the incredibly high radiation level is no threat to the general population.
The alarming readings were taken near the entrance of Reactor 2, directly below the pressure vessel that contains the reactor core. The team responsible used a remote-operated camera to take photos from inside the reactor. The camera went into the deepest area of the reactor to date and analyzed electronic noise to measure radiation.
This method of measuring radiation has an error margin of plus or minus 30%. Meaning, at best Reactor 2 may only be producing 370 sieverts per hour, which is still five times higher than it was in 2011, but still better than 530 sieverts an hour. However, in a worst case scenario, the reactor could be producing as high as 690 sieverts per hour.
The 50-year Clean Up
TEPCO’s plan is to decommission Reactor 2, but the high levels of radiation have been preventing completion. The original plan was for the fuel cells to be found and to begin dismantling the plant in 2021. In total, recovery of the fuel cells and dismantling is estimated to take roughly 50-years. The recent readings may mean that clean up will not be able to begin in 2021.
The camera used inside of Reactor 2 is designed to handle 1000 sieverts, which only gives it two hours to be inside the damaged reactor. There is no way a human could go inside the reactor as medical professionals are not even sure how to treat such incredibly high levels of radiation.
To understand exactly how dangerous the situation inside the reactor is, 1 sievert of radiation can cause infertility, hair loss, and sickness. It would only take 4 sieverts to kill 50% of humans over the period of a month, and 10 sieverts will kill a person within 3-weeks.
It is believed that the extraordinarily high level of radiation could be due to fuel escaping from the pressure valve. The camera was able to show the team a 3-foot hole in the metal grate underneath the pressure vessel, leading some to believe that could have been caused by melting fuel rods.
The camera also showed the presence of “black chunks,” which could be evidence of the melted fuel rods. In the 6-years since the nuclear disaster, none of the fuel rods for the three reactors that went into meltdown have been located.