Fukushima's No. 1 reactor building radiation level rises


Cooler King
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The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Saturday it has detected radiation of up to 4,000 millisieverts per hour at the building housing the troubled No. 1 reactor—the highest reading taken in the air inside the complex.

Tokyo Electric Power Co also suggested the possibility that the March 12 hydrogen explosion at the plant’s No. 1 unit may have been caused by a reverse flow of steam intended to be sent into the air through the exhaust stack after radioactive gases were vented.

The high amount of radiation was observed at the southeast corner of the building during measurement taken using a robot Friday. Steam was seen rising from an opening in the floor for a pipe that runs through the building, but TEPCO said it found no damage to the pipe.

The reading means that a worker is exposed to the maximum limit of 250 millisieverts, set for the ongoing emergency at the plant, after just about four minutes. TEPCO said its workers have no plan to work in that area of the plant, but added it will carefully monitor developments.

The pressure suppression containment vessel is located under the building and highly radioactive contaminated water generated by the reactor is believed to have accumulated there, TEPCO said.
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