Radiation Levels Estimated Far Higher in Fukushima Number 2 Reactor (News)

Science Technology

Fukushima, Feb. 2 (Jiji Press)—Air radiation levels inside the crippled number 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station are estimated at up to 530 sieverts per hour, far higher than 73 sieverts measured in 2012, Tokyo Electric Power Company said Thursday.

The new estimates are calculated through the analysis of flickers in camera images taken inside the reactor's containment vessel last month. TEPCO stressed that the figures were not actually measured.

The images, meanwhile, showed sediment on a steel grating platform beneath the pressure vessel inside the reactor's container.

Noting that the platform appears to have been partly distorted by heat, a TEPCO official said the sediment may be debris from nuclear fuel that dropped onto the platform after melting and penetrating the pressure vessel's bottom during the nuclear disaster following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

For a detailed survey, TEPCO plans to send a small self-propelled machine into the number 2 reactor. But there are concerns that the sediment on the floor could hamper the mission.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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