Water Radiation 10,000 Times Above Normal Spurs Leakage Fears in Japan
March 25, 2011 2:50 PM
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The containment vessel of reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may be ruptured after three workers within the plant stepped into water that contained "10,000 times the amount" of radiation that is normal for that area
While there has been some
speculation surrounding the accuracy of
on radiation in Japan as of late, the cable/web news giant has now released a new report stating that there may be a rupture in the containment vessel in reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and that it may be the cause of surrounding water that contains
10,000 times the amount of
normally found in the area.
The 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on March 11 has led to tsunamis, blackouts, radiation issues such as
, and a death toll
that has passed the 10,000 mark
expected to exceed 18,000
has reported that the containment vessel of reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may be ruptured after three workers within the plant stepped into water that contained 10,000 times the amount of radiation that is normal for that area. The job of the containment vessel is to keep radioactive material from entering the atmosphere, and according to Hidehiko Nishiyama from the Japan nuclear and industrial safety agency, "contaminated water likely seeped through the containment vessel protecting from the reactor's core."
The three workers, which were laying cables in the basement of the No. 3 reactor, were escorted to Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences after stepping in the radioactive water. According to Japan's Health Ministry, a person living in an industrialized country is exposed to 3 millisieverts of radiation annually. For those working directly with the nuclear plant during the current situation, the maximum
level of exposure
is 100 to 250 millisieverts per year. The three men who stepped in the radioactive water was a 30-year-old with an exposure level of 180.7 millisieverts, a 20-year-old with 179.37 millisieverts and a third man with no age specified that was exposed to 173 millisieverts of radiation. All three men spent 40 to 50 minutes in the 15-centimeter deep water.
While water in this area is normally boiled and has low levels of radiation, Nishiyama is concerned for the 536 other people working at the plant Friday when the incident occurred, and would like to improve radiation management measures.
Nishiyama would also like to improve radiation management measures at reactor's 1 and 2, which have been manageable as of late but are still experiencing difficulties. For instance, reactor No. 1 has had issues with increased pressure, and reactor No. 2 needs to switch the water for its spent fuel pool from saltwater to freshwater in order to prevent further corrosion from the salt.
Reactors 4, 5 and 6 are
being watched as well
, but do not pose as much of a threat since they underwent scheduled outages during the earthquake.
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RE: 10,000 times what?
3/25/2011 5:46:11 PM
I can't believe how many different types of units there have been over the years referring to radiation. Not that I have anything to do with nuclear science, but I have some interest in nuclear weapons and over the years have run into:
I know they mean different things but damn, every time I turn around seems like there's some new unit I've never heard of being referred to.
RE: 10,000 times what?
3/25/2011 6:34:31 PM
First is a measure of radioactive decay rate. The Becquerel (Bq) is one decay per second; the Curie (Ci) is 3.7e10 decays per second. These measure the frequency at which a mass of radioactive material emits a particle.
Second is a measure of absorbed dose. These measure the amount of radiation received by something, most often a person in the news right now. The rad is the historical unit, and the Gray (Gy) is the metric unit. One Gray is equal to 100 rad.
Finally, there is a measure of equivalent dose. Not all particles emitted by radioactive materials cause the same amount of damage to tissue. Because, of this, radiation scientists weight the dose received by an individual by the type. This is the most important number when considering health effects. The historical unit is the rem, and the metric unit is the Sievert (Sv). One Sievert is equal to 100 rem.
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