TOKYO (majirox news) – A body was found yesterday containing high levels of radiation in the town of Ookuma-cho, about 5 kilometers from the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. The Fukushima Police Department received a report of an unidentified body laying outdoors in the area. About 15 policemen dressed in protective gear went to the area.
Since the police detected dangerous levels of radiation, they decided not to take the body back with them, according to NHK. The police did not disclose the level of radiation.
On Monday the government urged residents of the evacuation area within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima plant not to return for the time being, as it stepped up efforts to address the nuclear crisis and remove debris from the quake areas.
“It is very likely that within 20 kilometers from the plant is contaminated and there is a big risk (to human health) at the moment,” Yukio Edano, top government spokesman, told a news conference. He said residents should not enter the evacuation zone until after the government gives them the go ahead.
Contaminated Water at Reactor 2, Possible Damage to Reactor Cores
TOKYO (majirox news) – Japan’s safety agency said the water that accumulated at the turbine building of reactor No. 2 had radioactivity levels about 100,000 times above the normal level.
The agency said the water probably slipped into the turbine building from the core containment vessel after coming in contact with fuel rods that had temporarily melted.
The agency believes that the water is mixing with radioactive materials from within the fuel rods and is likely leaking from the pressure containers.
In addition, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Co) said Monday morning that there is possible damage to core pressure containers at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Despite the continuous pumping in of water to cool down No. 1, 2 and 3 reactor cores, water levels were not rising, which means the pressure containers may not be totally closed.
The March 11 tsunami knocked out the emergency generators at the three reactors and the systems that circulate water in the pressure containers that cool the fuel rods. Water was injected through pipes to the pressure container to immerse the fuel rods and cool the heat, which continues to be let out.
TEPCO officials said they still do know what caused the possible damage.
Radiated Exposed Workers Discharged from Hospital
Three workers who were exposed to radiation inside the Fukushima nuclear power plant were discharged today from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture facility in Chiba east of Tokyo, officials said.
The men stepped in radioactive water while working to restore power at reactor No. 3 of the plant.
Two of them were wearing short rubber boots and received an estimated dose of 2,000 to 6,000 millisieverts of radiation below the ankles. Luckily, the exposure was localized and the two men did not develop radiation burns on their feet and required no special treatment, according to officials.
“Tests have shown evidence of internal radiation,” the official said. “But the readings are not high enough to affect human health.” He added that their conditions were not expected to deteriorate.
The third man wore long boots and did not have direct contact with the radioactive water.
The ocean water collected yesterday near the Fukushima nuclear plant at reactor No. 5 and 6 north outlets detected radioactive iodine-131 that was 1,150 times the set-standard limit, Japan’s safety agency said.
Three Hospitalized Workers Will be Released Today
Tokyo (majirox news) – According to Japanese news media reports, three workers who were hospitalized after being exposed to radiation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant on March 24 will be released this afternoon.
As previously reported, the workers, who were all in their 20s and 30s, radiation levels ranged between 173 and 180 millisieverts. Two workers were diagnosed as having sustained beta ray radiation burn injuries to their ankles and were first sent to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture, the nuclear safety commission said. In Japan 170 millisieverts of radiation is below the 250 allowed for workers.
Yukio Edano, a top government official, said the two workers had suffered from direct exposure to their ankles.
Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Lifted
A 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit Japan at 7:24 a.m. local time, according to Japan Meteorological Agency. It brought a new tsunami alert to the Pacific coast of Miyagi prefecture.
The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a 50-centimeter (18 inch) tsunami warning for the Pacific coast of Miyagi prefecture, which was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11. But lifted it at 9:05 a.m. local time
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the quake.