Neutron beam observed 13 times at crippled Fukushima nuke plant
TOKYO, March 23, Kyodo
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.
TEPCO, the operator of the nuclear plant, said the neutron beam measured about 1.5 kilometers southwest of the plant's No. 1 and 2 reactors over three days from March 13 and is equivalent to 0.01 to 0.02 microsieverts per hour and that this is not a dangerous level.
The utility firm said it will measure uranium and plutonium, which could emit a neutron beam, as well.
In the 1999 criticality accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant run by JCO Co. in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, uranium broke apart continually in nuclear fission, causing a massive amount of neutron beams.
In the latest case at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, such a criticality accident has yet to happen.
But the measured neutron beam may be evidence that uranium and plutonium leaked from the plant's nuclear reactors and spent nuclear fuels have discharged a small amount of neutron beams through nuclear fission.
How many times?
And this isn't the first?
Oh, so someone is measuring the radioactivity....
Are you properly mindful that this is completely out of control?
I don't see much of it out there, no matter how many images and hints like this one are slid under our noses.
China found two Japanese travellers arriving with high radiation levels Friday in the latest consequence of contamination from a crippled nuclear plant two weeks after the Asian nation's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
China's customs body said the pair had medical treatment for radiation levels "seriously" over the limit, but they did not present a risk to others after flying to Wuxi in the east.
Unit three is beginning to show its true colors.
Or, more accurately, the officials are becoming less able to conceal theirs.
Japanese nuclear safety officials said Friday that they suspect that the reactor core at one unit of the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant may have breached, raising the possibility of more severe contamination to the environment.
"It is possible that somewhere at the reactor may have been damaged," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency. But he added that "our data suggest the reactor retains certain containment functions," implying that the damage may have occurred in Unit 3's reactor core but that it was limited.
Officials say the damage could instead have happened in other equipment, including piping or the spent fuel pool.
Operators have been struggling to keep cool water around radioactive fuel rods in the reactor's core after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami cut off power supply to the plant and its cooling system.
Damage could have been done to the core when a March 14 hydrogen explosion blew apart Unit 3's outer containment building.
This reactor, perhaps the most troubled at the six-unit site, holds 170 tons of radioactive fuel in its core. Previous radioactive emissions have come from intentional efforts to vent small amounts of steam through valves to prevent the core from bursting. However, releases from a breach could allow uncontrolled quantities of radioactive contaminants to escape into the surrounding ground or air.
Operators stopped work Friday at units 1 through 3 to check on radiation levels.
I mean, uhm, I think you can BET China had a couple thousand things to say about the seriously irradiated couple who showed up on their doorstep... but that's just me imputing humanity to foreigners again.