#Fukushima radiation leaks reach deadly new high | Environment | theguardian.com
The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has radiation leaks strong enough to deliver a fatal dose within hours, Japanese authorities have revealed, as the government prepares to step in to help contain leaks of highly toxic water at the site.
On Wednesday the country’s nuclear regulation authority said radiation readings near water storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have increased to a new high, with emissions above the ground near one group of tanks were as high as 2,200 millisieverts [mSv] per hour – a rise of 20% from the previous high.
Earlier this week the plant’s operator, Tepco, said workers had measured radiation at 1,800 mSv an hour near a storage tank.
That was the previous highest reading since Tepco began installing tanks to store huge quantities of contaminated water that have built up at the plant.
An unprotected person standing close to the contaminated areas would, within hours, receive a deadly radiation dose. The nuclear regulation authority said the radiation comprised mostly beta rays that could be blocked by aluminium foil, unlike more penetrative gamma rays.