Higher Radiation Levels in Seawater, Japan will not Extend 20 km Zone

03/31/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) – Radiative iodine 4,385 times the legal limit was detected in the seawater at the south water outlet of reactors No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, which is the highest ever recorded, according to the safety agency.

The samples were taken 330 meters from the outlet. Yesterday, radioactive iodine was 3,355 times the legal limit found in the same area.

The government will extend the area for checking seawater radiation levels within 15 kilometers from the plant.

Officials have requested that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) send “seawater radiation specialists” to assist in helping with the critical situation at the plant.

Japan will not Extend 20 km Zone Despite IAEA Evacuation Recommendation
Yukio Edano, top government spokesman, confirmed radiation measured at the town of Iitate Village, about 40 km from Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) exceeded the IAEA’s criteria for evacuation, at a press conference today at 11 a.m. It was twice the amount of IAEA’s standard for evacuation.

There is pressure on Japan’s government to extend the exclusion zone beyond 20 km (12 miles) around the Fukushima power plant.

“The government does not plan to extend the evacuation zone beyond 20 km,” Edano said. He added they needed to study the situation before the government made any decision.

The IAEA spokesman said, “We have advised (Japan) to carefully assess the situation and they have indicated that it is already under assessment,” he told a news conference.

Containing Radioactive Debris with Resin
Update: Because of the winds they were unable to spray the areas around the plant with the resin composition, but will try again tomorrow.

Today, workers will spray the radiation-tainted debris in areas around the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant with a resin composition to hold it in. Once they can contain the radiation from the debris, which is emitting radioactive particles in the air, the workers can concentrate on taking the contaminated water out of the turbine buildings and fix the cooling systems.

The steam condenser tanks inside the turbine buildings at reactors No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 are nearly filled with water. Tokyo Electric Company, operator of the plant, started to empty these tanks and move the water to outside condenser tanks.

However, the tanks, including the surge tanks and the trenches, are also full of water. Tokyo Electric will consider making a new water pool to store the contaminated water.

Meanwhile, the government is considering blanketing the broken building of reactors No. 1, 3 and 4 with special cloth to keep radioactive substances from spreading

Japan is also considering using tanker ships to gather radiation-contaminated water from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

The aim is to limit radioactive contamination in areas around the Fukushima plant to a minimum, a government official said.

The government will make these decisions at some point. It will take substantial time to bring down the temperatures of nuclear fuel rods at the plant to relatively stable levels.

New tsunami warning system installed
A new tsunami warning system has been installed at Sendai Harbor in Miyagi prefecture. The previous system was destroyed by deadly tsunami waves that struck March 11, when it smashed into Japan’s coastline, where they wiped out entire cities and killed thousands.

The new system has been deployed to work effectively for tsunamis waves up to 20 meters. It uses solar batteries and a satellite telephone system.

The old system was capable of only measuring up 7.6 meter waves.

Sarkozy and Kan
France agreed that the two countries will cooperate in creating a new international nuclear safety standards by the end of this year.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy became the first foreign leader to visit Japan since the earthquake and the tsunami.

The French president said he would provide assistance to Japan, not only as the leader of France but also as the chair of the G-8 and the Group of 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies.

France, which relies on nuclear power for nearly 75 percent of its electricity, will assist Japan in containing radiation leaking out of the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant.

Imperial visit for quake victims
Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Wednesday visited a shelter that is home to evacuees from disaster-hit areas in Tokyo.

The is the first time since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that the monarchs met with the quake and tsunami victims.

The Emperor and Empress visited a sports complex, which is the temporary home for some 290 evacuees from Iwate prefecture. They spoke with people of all ages.

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