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Fukushima radiation so high a robot would be destroyed in two hours

Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, first commissioned in 1971, was one of the 15 largest nuclear power stations in the world, until it sustained massive damage when Japan was hit first by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and then a massive tsunami, on March 11, 2011.

Close to 16,000 people died in the disaster, with another 160,000 losing their homes and employment.

Japan has been involved in an extensive clean-up campaign ever since.

Now, an alarming report by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the company that operated the plant before its triple meltdown, would seem to indicate that the clean-up process is going to be even longer and more difficult than ever imagined.

TEPCO recently recorded the radiation levels near the core of reactor 2 (reactors 1 and 3 have not yet been assessed) using a remote-controlled camera and special radiation measurement device. Immediately following the disaster, levels of 73 sieverts per hour were measured. The latest measurement, however, indicates that those levels have reached as high as 530 sieverts per hour. At this level of exposure, a person would die after even brief exposure and a robot would be destroyed after only two hours. Even exposure to 1 sievert an hour could lead to infertility, loss of hair, and cataracts, according to The Japan Times. Exposure to anything over 100 sieverts magnifies the risk of cancer

 

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