Monday, March 28, 2011



Japan nuclear crisis: highly radioactive 

water is latest serious setback

 3:27PM BST 27 Mar 2011

The discovery of the highly radioactive water in the plant's Number 

2 reactor is the latest blow to efforts to restore control at the 

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Workers who waded through radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant 
are shielded with a tarpaulin on their way to hospital for treatment Photo: AP

Two of the Japanese plant's six reactors are currently considered safe, 
however workers at the plant are continuing to work around the clock in order 
to bring the remaining four under control.
The latest high radiation levels, detected in puddles collecting in the Number 2 reactor, 
have led experts to speculate that contaminated water has leaked from the reactor's core. 
Any effort to investigate further is being hampered by the mandatory evacuation 
of workers in the vicinity.
The radiation reading is believed to apply to an isotope known as iodine-134, 
which loses half of its radioactive atoms every 53 minutes, 
in contrast to iodine-131 which diminishes by a half life every eight days.
Authorities will eventually need to pump the pooled and contaminated 
water from the turbine building before continuing with efforts to cool the reactor.
Scientists will also be questioning whether there is a link between the highly 
radioactive water inside the reactor and the spike in radiation levels in 
nearby Pacific sea waters.
Meanwhile, Tepco officials have confirmed that fresh water – in contrast to the 
seawater used earlier – is still being injected into the reactor cores 
and nuclear fuel pools in Numbers 1, 2 and 3 reactors.

Visit Japan for a while.....