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Extreme radiation detected at No.2 reactor
NHK World english
27 March 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has detected radioactive materials 10-million-times normal levels in water at the No.2 reactor complex of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The plant operator, known as TEPCO, says it measured 2.9-billion becquerels of radiation per one cubic centimeter of water from the basement of the turbine building attached to the Number 2 reactor.
The level of contamination is about 1,000 times that of the leaked water already found in the basements of the Number 1 and 3 reactor turbine buildings.
The company says the latest reading is 10-million times the usual radioactivity of water circulating within a normally operating reactor.
TEPCO says the radioactive materials include 2.9-billion becquerels of iodine-134, 13-million becquerels of iodine-131, and 2.3-million becquerels each for cesium 134 and 137.
These substances are emitted during nuclear fission inside a reactor core.
The company says the extremely contaminated water may stem from damaged fuel in the reactor, and are trying to determine how the leakage occurred.
University of Tokyo graduate school professor Naoto Sekimura says the leak may come from the suppression chamber of the Number 2 reactor, which is known to be damaged. The chamber is designed to contain overflows of radioactive substances from the reactor.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 13:44 +0900 (JST)
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