"Higher Radiation Levels Found at Japanese Reactor"

"TOKYO — Sharply elevated radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex on Sunday raised the possibility of spreading contamination and forced an evacuation of a part of one of the buildings at the damaged plant.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that water seeping out of the crippled No. 2 reactor building into the adjacent turbine building contained levels of radioactive iodine 134 that were about 10 million times the level normally found in water used inside nuclear power plants.

The higher levels may suggest a leak from the reactor’s fuel rods — from either the suppression chamber under the rods or various piping — or even a breach in the pressure vessel that houses the rods, the Japanese nuclear regulator said.

Tests also found increased levels of 2.3 million becquerels of radioactive cesium, a substance with a longer half-life, the agency said."

David Jolly, Hiroko Tabuchi and Keith Bradsher Report for the New York Times March 27, 2011.


SEE ALSO:

"Radiation Levels Reach New Highs as Conditions Worsen for Workers" (Washington Post)

"Poison Pools Point to Meltdown" (Wall St. Journal)

"Japan Fears Nuclear Reactor Is Leaking Contaminated Water" (New York Times)

"Japanese Nuclear Plant Says Partial Meltdown Caused Water Contamination" (Guardian)

"Japan Nuclear Crisis: Reactors Have Damaged Fuel Rods" (ABC News)

Source: NY Times, 03/28/2011