Shit just got real. The spin? It is not harmful to human health. Oh really? We can't wait for Kan to eat some plutonium on national TV to confirm this. In the meantime we await the retraction from TEPCO claiming they made a mistake and they really meant platinum not plutonium.
Plutonium has been detected in soil at five locations at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday.
The operator of the nuclear complex said that the plutonium is believed to have been discharged from nuclear fuel at the plant, which was damaged by the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
While noting that the concentration level does not pose a risk to human health, the utility firm said it will strengthen monitoring on the environment in and around the nuclear plant.
Meanwhile, high levels of radiation exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour have been detected in water in a trench outside the No. 2 reactor's building at the nuclear plant, with the contaminated water suspected to have come from the reactor's core, where fuel rods have partially melted, authorities said Monday.
The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the electric power company, known as TEPCO, is expected to pump out similarly highly contaminated water that has been building up in the basement of the No. 2 reactor's turbine building, which is connected to the trench, to eventually remove the water.
The company said the high radiation level in water in the trench connected to the No. 2 complex was detected Sunday, adding that the radiation level in the air in the trench stood at 100 to 300 millisieverts.
At a radiation level of 1,000 millisieverts per hour, people could suffer a decrease in the number of lymphocytes -- a type of white blood cell -- in just 30 minutes, and half could die within 30 days by remaining in such conditions for four hours.
TEPCO also found Sunday afternoon that the radiation level at the surface of the trench water adjacent to the No. 1 complex was 0.4 millisievert per hour. But it could not measure the level at the gutter linked to the No. 3 unit as rubble prevented the firm from checking it, the company added.
Although it remains unknown whether the contaminated water has flowed into the sea from the trenches that are 55 to 70 meters away from the shore, TEPCO suspects the high concentration of radioactive substances found in seawater near the plant reactors' drainage outlets may be linked to the trench water.
Earlier in the day, the nuclear agency said radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,150 times the maximum allowable level was detected Sunday in a seawater sample taken around 1.5 kilometers north of the drainage outlets of the troubled No. 1-4 reactors.
Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, told reporters he is ''very worried'' about the high-level radiation detected in water in the trenches, which is outside the radiation-controlled area set by TEPCO.
Reuters confirms that this was merely yet another cover up:
Plutonium has been found in soil at various points within Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex but does not present a risk to human health, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co <9501.T> (TEPCO) said on Monday.
TEPCO vice-president Sakae Muto told journalists at the company's latest briefing that test results showing the plutonium came from samples taken a week ago.
It was the latest bad news from the plant, where evidence of radiation has been mounting and engineers face a protracted battle to control reactors damaged by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. found plutonium contamination in soil near the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant that was tested, Sakae Muto, vice president at plant operator, said at a press conference shown on a webcast today.
The plutonium probably came after the accident at the reactors following Japan’s strongest earthquake and tsunami, he said. The radioactive substance shouldn’t have any impact on human health, he said.
Fear not: TEPCO will bravely continue to sacrifice its workers even after this discovery. Per Reuters:
The discovery of plutonium at five places within Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex will not cause work there to be suspended, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Tuesday.
Attached is a report from the ANS on why this discovery means that Reactor 3 is compromised.