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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

☢ Bloomberg Report About Extreme Radiation Levels at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant ☢

Tepco Reports Second Deadly Radiation Reading at Fukushima Nuclear Plant
By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Kari Lundgren - Aug 3, 2011 12:24 PM GMT+0300

Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported its second deadly radiation reading in as many days at its wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo.
The utility known as Tepco said yesterday it detected 5 sieverts of radiation per hour in the No. 1 reactor building. On Aug. 1 in another area it recorded radiation of 10 sieverts per hour, enough to kill a personwithin a few weeksafter a single exposure, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Radiation has impeded attempts to replace cooling systems to bring three melted reactors and four damaged spent fuel ponds under control after a tsunami on March 11 crippled the plant. The latest reading was taken on the second floor of the No. 1 reactor building and will stop workers entering the area.
“It’s probably the first of many more to come,” said Michael Friedlander, who spent 13 years operating nuclear power plants in the U.S., including the Crystal River Station in Florida. “Although I am not surprised, it concerns me greatly; the issue is the worker safety.”
The 10 sieverts of radiation detected on Aug. 1 outside reactor buildings was the highest the Geiger counters used were capable of reading, indicating the level could have been higher, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the utility, said at a press conference.

Upper Limit

“Ten sieverts is the upper limit for many dosimeters and almost equal to the amount that killed workers at the JCO nuclear accident in 1999,” said Tomoko Murakami, a nuclear researcher at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan.
In that accident, then the world’s worst since Chernobyl in 1986, more than 600 people were exposed to radiation after workers inadvertently started a nuclear chain reaction while processing nuclear fuel at a plant near Tokyo. Two employees of JCO Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., died from radiation exposure.
Tepco was forced to pump water into the three Fukushima reactors after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disabled cooling systems. The company in May estimated there would be 200,000 tons of radiated water in basements and other areas of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant by December.
“If nuclear fuels melted through containment chambers, Tepco will find even higher radiation readings after water in building basements is removed,” said Tetsuo Ito, the head of the Atomic Energy Research Institute at Kinki University.

Radiation Leaks

Tepco has been criticized by the government for withholding radiation data and other missteps that have worsened the crisis. About 160,000 people have been evacuated from areas stretching 20 kilometers and more from the plant.
On May 27, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tepco’s withholding radiation data was contributing to “public distrust.” The utility responded by saying it will publish in August the combined figures of radiation released into the atmosphere and in contaminated water. It hasn’t given a date for release of that information.
Radiation leaks from the Fukushima reactors have spread over 600 square kilometers, Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, said in a research report published on May 24 and given to the government.
Radioactive soil in pockets of areas outside the exclusion zone around the plant have reached the same level as in Chernobyl following a reactor explosion in the former Soviet Union, the report said.

Hot Spots

The threats to Japan’s food chain are also multiplying as radioactive cesium emissions from the Fukushima plant spread. Contaminated beef has been found on supermarket shelves around the country, forcing the government to ban cattle shipments from areas in northern Japan.
The latest high radiation readings are probably coming from materials released during early failed attempts to release pressure in containment vessels and vent hydrogen gas to prevent explosions that damaged reactor buildings, Matsumoto said. There were about 2,760 workers at the plant on Aug 1.
Tepco on April 17 set out a so-called road map to end the crisis by January, aiming to bring down radiation levels at the plant within three months and then achieve a so-called cold shutdown where reactor temperatures fall below 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit).
The utility needs to investigate other areas that may hold high radiation levels in line with the cold-shutdown and clean up, said Murakami at Energy Economics.
“Tepco workers and its subcontractors who know the Fukushima plant well may be the only ones that can discover such hot spots,” he said. “For people new to the plant it’s deadly.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Tsuyoshi Inajima in Tokyo at tinajima@bloomberg.net; Kari Lundgren in London at klundgren2@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Langan at plangan@bloomberg.net

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Geiger Counters - Radiation Detection Meters - Handheld Radiation Detector



When it comes to radiation detection meters you really have a wide field of gadgets to choose from, however radiation detectors are the most common to use. First of all if you need to know what type of radiation you are looking for. There are Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation detectors. And also there is neutron emission of nuclear radiation. And all these different types of emissions have radiation detectors for a specific type of radiation that you can buy radiation detector for. Some also measure both Alpha and Beta. Others detect Alpha, Beta and Gamma. While others let you measure Beta and Gamma radiation.



What most people have use for though are Dosimeters you can buy a handheld radiation detector pretty cheap that are good addition to a survival kit. There are different kinds that you can use that will detect radiation. There are radiation badges that will tell you when radiation become high. Workers at nuclear power plants use these to inform them of how much radiation they have been exposed to. Now also children in the Fukushima prefecture have each been given a radiation badge so they know if they are exposed to radiation. Some come in the shape of a pen that you can carry in your pocket while other are made more compact so that you can attach them to your keychain. And then you have what is called a personal radiation monitor. These are also called Dosimeters and also normally called Geiger counters. Although not all use the Geiger-Muller Tube for the radiation detection some use a semiconductor instead. These and mostly the older geiger counters seen are pretty big to carry around, so they might not be best suited for a survival situation where you only need to carry the most important things. However if you have land and want to check radiation around the property and drinking water then these are the geiger counters to get because they are very well built units.

These are the once that you normally see people use. They have different units of radiation detection, because when it comes to radiation there are many standards used. some give the measurements in Rads, while other use Sieverts. Some have the maximum radiation value for the measured radioactivity quite low but they will still give you an idea of the amount of radiation in the area. With the units ranging from between background radiation 0.001 mSv/hr all the way up to 10 Sv/h. Normally a dosimeter will measure radiation in micro siverts per hour. If you were to walk into one of the reactor units at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant you probably would get an error reading from your dosimeter because the radiation levels are so high there.

Note that some places outside the exclusion zone in Fukushima that are too radioactive for people to live in have areas where the radiation levels are above 30 Sv/h. So if you are in a area that have high radiation the radiation detectors would also there go off the scale. However Geiger counters or radiation detectors are still favored as general purpose alpha/beta/gamma portable radiation detectors and radiation detection equipment, due to their low cost and robustness. Most come with an LCD Display that show you the radioactivity in the area. Nowdays you will even get alarm sound and the possibility to connect the device to a computer. Either with a Infrared, Bluetooth or USB connection.

So if you look at the radiation detectors for sale that have this, then these radiation detection meters will allow you to make maps of contaminated areas that show where the radiation is high and low. This also will help you to see which areas are becoming more contaminated over time. With several nuclear reactors in the US and around the world located near fault zones that makes it a danger if a big earthquake would hit the area there is always a good choice to have a radiation dosimeter avaliable. I'm sure many in Fukushima would have been grateful to have dosimeters avaliable at the time of the disaster and I am sure you to would be grateful to have a geiger counter handy when you need one.

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