Kyodo News: Fresh Water injected to ailing plants – Infants may have significant exposure – Newsflash: Radiation may be from Reactor
March 25, 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it has begun injecting freshwater into the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor cores at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to enhance cooling efficiency, but highly radioactive water was later found leaking near all four troubled reactor units at the plant.
A day after three workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level at the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor building, a water pool with similarly highly concentrated radioactive materials was found in the No. 1 reactor’s turbine building, causing some restoration work to be suspended, it said.
Pools of water that may have seeped from either the reactor cores or spent fuel pools were also found in the turbine buildings of the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors, measuring up to 1 meter and 80 centimeters deep, respectively, while those near the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors were up to 40 cm and 1.5 meters deep.
The latest development in Japan’s worst nuclear crisis raises the risk of more workers being exposed to radioactive substances, hindering their efforts to restore the plant’s crippled cooling functions that are key to overcoming the crisis.
Freshwater is being injected to prevent crystallized salt from seawater already injected forming a crust on the fuel rods and hampering smooth water circulation, thus diminishing the cooling effect, the utility known as TEPCO said, adding it is preparing to inject freshwater into the No. 2 reactor core as well on Saturday.
and in an ironically sad distillation of the overall tone of crisis communication so far..the article notes, “the high-level radiation is suspected to have come from the reactor…”.
The radiation dose received by one-year-old infants outside of a 30-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since Saturday’s explosion at the plant may have exceeded 100 millisieverts, a computer simulation conducted by the government showed Wednesday.
”There are some cases in which they could have received more than 100 millisieverts of radiation, even if they’re outside the 30-kilometer radius and in the event that they spent every day outdoors since the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.
Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, told reporters, ”The figure represents the level that one-year-old infants would have received and accumulated in their thyroids by midnight Wednesday since the explosion.”
Madarame said the radiation dose accumulated by adults outside the 30-km zone in their thyroids would be lower.
People exposed to a radiation dose of 100 millisieverts are required to take potassium iodide, Madarame said. An annual radiation dose of 100 millisieverts is believed to be associated with an increased risk of cancer.
It’s just too terrible and sad for words.