Fukushima Radiation Levels Rise Sharply

Fukushima radiation levels have spiked to extremely high levels, officials in Japan say. This was announced after new measurements made Saturday showed water in the Fukushima nuclear power plant to be more radioactive than expected. Levels were found to have risen by as much as 18-fold.

The plant’s owners, Tokyo Electric Power Company, say that no more than a single drop of the irradiated water has leaked, reports CNN. They say a drop came out after an inspector pressed on pipe insulation. TEPCO claims that there have been no other leaks.

According to the Toronto Sun, some samples were found to have radioactive levels of 1,800 millisieverts per hour. This is radioactive enough to kill a person in four hours. TEPCO says they will be providing extra protection for their staff responsible for monitoring the radioactive water. The same tanks showing high levels of radiation were measured last on August 22. At that time, readings showed that the water had radiation levels of 100 millisieverts per hour.

Last month TEPCO also announced that identical tanks of similarly radioactive water had been found to be leaking. This lead to Japanese officials eventually raising the situation from a level one to a level three “serious incident.” 300 tons of toxic water was released, officials say.

Don’t worry, there’s good news — if it can be called that. TEPCO officials say that the irradiated water was not found to be emitting gamma rays, among the deadliest forms of radiation. Instead, the water contains beta rays, which are deadly as well, but dissipates quickly and can be easily shielded against.

Monitors say they are seeking the cause of this alarming radiation spike, as it is still a mystery. Nuclear regulars in Japan have expressed concern over whether TEPCO will be able to successfully clean up the Fukushima radiation.

[Image via IAEA Imagebank via photopin cc]