Radiation surrounding Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has increased 18-fold following a report last month that radioactive water had leaked into the ground around the plant, which was badly damaged in a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reports that radiation around the site is at 1,800 millisieverts per hour, a level that Reuters says is "enough to kill an exposed person in four hours."
Previously, the utility, also known as Tepco, said the leaking water was at around 100 millisieverts per hour.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 10:50 am
Operators are reporting a fresh leak of contaminated water from the grounds of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Japan's coast.
In 2011, a tsunami sparked meltdowns at the plant, and authorities have had to pump in water ever since to keep the melted nuclear fuel cool. After passing through the reactors, the contaminated water is decontaminated and put into storage until it can be recirculated through the reactor cores.
Two years ago today, an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. Hundreds of thousands of people living near the plant were forced to flee. The World Health Organization recently predicted a very small rise in cancer risk from radioactive material that was released. For the nuclear refugees, though, anxiety and depression could be the more persistent hazard. Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel traveled to Fukushima prefecture and met victims of the accident to see how they are coping.