Fukushima radioactivity highest in three months

  • Published on June 5th, 2011

steam rises from the reactor floor at fukushimaIt’s been three months since the crisis began at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor complex, and they’re no closer to cleaning up the radioactive mess. In fact, things may be getting worse.

Japan’s NHK TV broadcast a hellish image of radioactive steam billowing out of cracks in the reactor floor. They also reported high levels of radiation.

Tokyo Electric Power Company inspected the inside of the No.1 reactor building on Friday with a remote-controlled robot.

TEPCO said it found that steam was rising from a crevice in the floor, and that extremely high radiation of 3,000 to 4,000 millisieverts per hour was measured around the area. The radiation is believed to be the highest detected in the air at the plant.

TEPCO says the steam is likely coming from water at a temperature of 50° Celsius [122° F] that has accumulated in the basement of the reactor building.

TEPCO had to send a robot in to reactor #1 on Friday take video – did you realize humans still can’t get near this thing?

Three out of the four reactors at Fukushima have melted down, and are too messed up for anything but even basic remediation. Three months into the crisis. Remember that the next time someone in the nuclear power industry tells you we have the technology to make nuclear power perfectly safe. (Follow the link to watch the video; sorry, but we can’t embed NHK’s video)

And it gets worse.

A lot of radioactive water has already made it into the ocean, contaminating seawater and wildlife and probably destroying the fishing industry of northeastern Japan for decades.

But there is even more radioactive water – 28 million gallons – stored at Fukushima. And with heavy rains recently hitting the region, TEPCO officials are concerned that could overflow within the next few weeks.

This situation is nowhere near being “under control”, and there’s really no end in sight.

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About the Author

Jeremy Bloom is the Editor of RedGreenAndBlue. He lives in New York, where he combines his passion for the environment with his passion for film, and is working on making the world a better place.