Sunday, March 27, 2011

Workers evacuated from Japan Nuclear Plant

Photo taken from a distance of 40 kilometers shows four of the six reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant

Source: Press TV

Workers have been evacuated after very high radiation levels were detected at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant as the nuclear crisis is worsening in the quake-hit country.

According to Japan's Jiji news agency, workers were evacuated from a reactor building they were working in after high doses of radiation ten million times the usual level were detected at the plant's reactor No.2. on Sunday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant's operator, said radiation 10 million times the usual level was detected in water that had accumulated at the No.2 reactor's turbine housing unit.

"We detected 1,000 millisieverts per hour of radiation in a puddle of water at the reactor number two. This figure is 10 million times higher than water usually kept in a reactor," a spokesman for TEPCO told AFP.

"We are examining the cause of this, but no work is being done there because of the high level of radiation."

"High levels of caesium and other substances are being detected, which usually should not be found in reactor water. There is a high possibility that fuel rods are being damaged."

The report comes after Japan's nuclear safety agency said that radioactive iodine in the waters off the quake-hit site rose to 1,850 times the usual level from 1,250 times measured on Saturday.

On March 11, a powerful quake, off the northeast coast of Japan's main island, unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours.

The Japanese government has put the post-quake rebuilding cost at $309 billion.

Japan has announced that nearly 28,000 people have died or are feared dead as a result of the disastrous quake and tsunami that hit the country two weeks ago.

The quake is now considered Japan's deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake that claimed the lives of more than 142,000 people.

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