Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Status

As of 16 March 0247 UTC, large quantities of steam are coming from Fukushima Daiichi Reactor #3. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukiyo Edamo stated that the radiation around the plant has reached as high as 1000 millisieverts/hour which is the same as 100 rems/hour. This is sufficient to cause serious radiation sickness in one hour.  All workers have been evacuated, so the reactors are on their own.  He mentioned that plans are in work to attempt the cooling of the reactor #4 spent fuel pool, which contains over 500 nuclear fuel rods, but that right now the work has been suspended.

Recent photo of Reactors #3 and #4 (l to r)
Click for larger image

UPDATE:  Now (0316 UTC) TEPCO is saying 6.4 millisieverts/hour, and that the 1000 millisievert/hour number quoted by Edamo is incorrect. That would only be 0.64 rem/hour.  It would therefore take about 8 hours to get to the 5 rem annual occupational exposure limit.

UPDATE 2:  But the Associated Press is still quoting the 1000 millisievert/hour number

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