Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Radiation hits highest in Japan Nuclear plant

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Radiation at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan reaches its highest levels since the outbreak of the nuclear crisis in March, a report says.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the damaged power station, said on Monday more than 10 sieverts per hour of radiation was recorded on the surface of a pipe located outdoors between reactor 1 and reactor 2 of the atomic facility, DPA reported.

The plant has emitted radioactive material into the environment since 11 March when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan's northeastern coasts.

The double disaster and the nuclear fallout at the Fukushima Daiichi have been described as Japan's worst crisis since World War II as they left thousands of people dead and displaced many others.

The crisis prompted the government of Japan to elevate the maximum annual limit for plant workers from 100 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts. The government also raised the severity level of the situation at Fukushima from 5 to 7 - the worst on an international scale -- weeks after the crisis.

Severity level of 7 had only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl accident in Ukraine.

An explosion and ensuing fire in Chernobyl nuclear power plant resulted in a severe release of radioactivity into the environment, claiming the lives of at least 4,000 people.

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