Entries in Seawater (2)


Japan Nuclear Crisis: Highest Radiation Levels Detected in Seawater

ABC News(TOKYO) -- Radiation levels in the seawater outside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan reached their highest levels yet Wednesday morning.

Nuclear safety officials said the seawater near the plant contains 3,335 times the normal amount of radioactive iodine.

Now, government officials are considering draping special tarps over three of the reactors to contain the radiation.  It's a plan that's never been tried before and is not without risk because officials don't want more pressure to build up.

To assist in containment efforts, the U.S. government is sending radiation-hardened robots to reach areas too dangerous for workers.

Earlier this week, officials acknowledged highly dangerous plutonium was found in soil near the reactors.

Increased levels of radiation have also been detected in tap water and vegetables.

Meanwhile, Masataka Shimizu, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the company that operates the plant, has been hospitalized with hypertension, according to TEPCO spokesman Naoki Tsunoda.

It is the latest in a series of setbacks and criticism the company has faced after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami knocked out the reactor's cooling system on March 11.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Power Restored to All Six Units at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant

STR/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- External power was restored to all six units at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility on Tuesday after workers continued to douse Units 3 and 4 in attempts to bring the disaster-stricken facility under control.

At a press conference held by the Nuclear Safety Agency earlier Tuesday it was confirmed that in addition to restoring power at Unit 2, three hours of dousing was to begin Tuesday on Unit 4, and the Tokyo Fire Department and Osaka Fire Department had sprayed water on Unit 3.

Units 5 and 6 had previously been successfully connected to diesel generators.

While power has been restored, officials need to check and test each reactor individually before coolant pumps can be reactivated.

The NSA also confirmed Tuesday that more tests have been ordered for radiation in seawater.

TEPCO on Tuesday also announced the seawater contamination levels near the Fukushima facility.  The level of iodine is 27.1 times higher than normal and the level of cesium -- which can affect fish and shellfish -- is 2.5 times higher than normal level.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's office moved to reassure consumers Tuesday that no seafood from Fukushima prefecture had entered the market since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck on March 11 and a 46-foot tsunami knocked out the plant's cooling systems and backup generators.

The latest death toll from the disasters now stands at 8,805 with another 12,664 listed as missing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio