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TOKYO | Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:58am GMT
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan asked local governments to make more frequent radiation checks after explosions at two nuclear reactors, with reports of radiation levels nine times normal briefly detected in Kanagawa near Tokyo. Below are some facts about the health dangers posed by higher radiation levels.
* Chief cabinet minister Yukio Edano said radiation levels near the stricken plant on the northeast coast reached as high as 400 millisieverts (mSv) an hour, thousands of times higher than readings before the blast. That would be 20 times the current yearly level for some nuclear-industry employees and uranium miners.
* Exposure to 350 mSv was the criterion for relocating people after the Chernobyl accident, according to the World Nuclear Association.
* People are exposed to natural radiation of about 2 mSv a year.
* Airline crew flying the New York-Tokyo polar route are exposed to 9 mSv a year.
* Exposure to 100 mSv a year is the lowest level at which any increase in cancer is clearly evident. A cumulative 1,000 mSv would probably cause a fatal cancer many years later in five out of every 100 persons exposed to it.
*A single 1,000 mSv dose causes radiation sickness such as nausea but not death. A single does of 5,000 mSv would kill about half of those exposed to it within a month.
*"Very acute radiation, like that which happened in Chernobyl and to the Japanese workers at the nuclear power station, is unlikely for the population," said Lam Ching-wan, a chemical pathologist at the university of Hong Kong.
Source: the World Nuclear Association
Originally posted by blackcat99
Sky news TV just said the incident has been updated to a level 6 nuclear accident.....
Situation Update No. 31 On 15.03.2011 at 11:56 GMT+2
Japan stood on the verge of a nuclear catastrophe Tuesday after a third explosion rocked the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant and large amounts of nuclear material were released directly into the atmosphere. The rapidly worsening situation led Prime Minister Naoto Kan to order everyone within 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) of the facility, located 160 miles north of Tokyo, to evacuate, and those within 30 kilometers to stay indoors and conserve supplies, as he warned of “substantial” radiation leaks. Japan also announced a no-fly zone around the reactors. At the plant, radiation has increased to potentially harmful levels of 400 millisieverts per hour, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said. Exposure to over 100 millisieverts a year is a level which can lead to cancer, according to the World Nuclear Association. In Tokyo, radiation levels soared to 23 times normal levels, city officials reportedly said Tuesday. Thirteen million people live in the Tokyo prefecture, and about 35 million in the greater Tokyo area including neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama. At the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the explosion on Tuesday took place at reactor No. 2. In addition, the spent fuel storage pond at reactor No. 4 caught fire and radioactivity was released directly into the atmosphere, the IAEA said on its website. The Japanese authorities have said that there was a possibility that the fire was caused by a hydrogen explosion, according to the IAEA. The fire was subsequently extinguished. The Fukushima Daiichi complex has been the focus of widespread concern following Friday’s massive earthquake and tsunami, as core temperatures at the plant have increased to dangerous levels. The series of explosions over the past four days make the crisis at the plant the worst nuclear incident since Chernobyl 25 years ago. Friday’s earthquake knocked out electricity-grid supplies while the tsunami damaged back-up generators, forcing Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco , the plant’s operator, to resort to emergency measures to cool the reactors. The firm has been flooding the units with seawater to try to cool them, a desperate measure as it means the plants likely won’t be able to be used again. Any loss of cooling systems raises the threat of core decomposition, which in a worst-case scenario, “could entail a highly dangerous radiation release,” IHS Global analysts said. The IAEA said that Japanese authorities have informed it that reactors No. 1, 2 and 3 at the plant are now in cold shutdown status. Under these conditions, the reactors are considered to be safely under control. Authority and plant workers are still striving to bring reactor No. 4 to cold shutdown, the agency said. Cold shutdown means that the temperature is below 100 degrees Celsius and water coolant pressure is around atmospheric level. At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Tepco officials said that they were sorry for the concern and inconvenience the incidents have caused for the public. Power company officials not immediately involved in the rescue operations were being evacuated, the officials said.
Originally posted by Movhisattva
reply to post by TwiTcHomatic
Well, according to Belgian newspaper, the decision to abandon the site has just been made, see my previous post.