It appears more than likely fuel rods at the Fukushima nuclear power plant are in partial meltdown, but before crews can fully evaluate it, they must focus on pumping out radioactive water from inside the facility.
Before they can get a new chance at restarting the plant’s cooling systems they must remove lots of radioactive water, which is swirling around four reactors, and best estimates say it will take weeks to clear out.
That discovery comes on the heels of a false panic over the weekend, which sent workers running from the facility for their lives.
At least one employee at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) believed the radioactive level inside Fukushima rose 10 million times the acceptable level. As it turns out, that was inaccurate. The reading is closer to 100,000 times, an unsafe number, but still closer to the mark of what is considered acceptable.
Takashi Kurita said, “the number is not credible.” Kurita is a spokesperson for Tokyo Electric, “we are sorry, very sorry.” TEPCO Vice President Sakae Muto promised no more such mistakes. ”We will work hard to raise our precision in our work so as not to repeat this again.”
It is probably fair to say government officials in Japan have lost all confidence in TEPCO.
Government Spokeman Yukio Edano told media outlets that, “such a mistake is not something that should be forgiven or acceptable.”
Adding more to extremely complex problems, is the likelihood that radioactive waste is leaking into the ocean. New readings show that a radioactive Iodine has spread much further than believed, extended out to at least a mile around Fukushima. Levels have apparently topped 1,150 times the normal rate.
Fukushima, which is located about 140 miles northeast of Tokyo, has been leaking radiation since it was struck by a tsunami and earthquake on March 11
Government officials are still warning residents to stay out of a 12 mile zone around the nuclear complex. Reportedly some homeowners are trying to sneak back into their homes. Government Spokesperson Edano said contaminants pose a “big” health risk.
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