Skip to main content

Fukushima radiation levels spike, company says

By Brian Walker, CNN
updated 6:30 AM EDT, Mon September 2, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • TEPCO found high radiation readings Saturday
  • It said the highest levels measured were so-called beta radiation

(CNN) -- There's been a sharp spike in radiation levels measured in the pipes and containers holding water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan.

But the company in charge of cleaning it up says that only a single drop of the highly contaminated water escaped the holding tanks.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said it is confident it can provide safety for workers dealing with the problem.

"We will find out the cause of this issue and make proper counter measures immediately, and continue to make every effort to secure safety of workers," the company said in a statement released Sunday.

How dangerous is Japan's nuclear leak?
Fukushima plant 'house of horrors'
How dangerous is Japan's nuclear leak?

TEPCO found high radiation readings at the contaminated water storage tanks and pipe Saturday. The four locations are the bottom of three tanks and a pipe connecting tanks in separate area.

The highest reading as 1800 millisieverts per hour at the bottom fringe of the tank. 220 and 70 mSv were measured at the bottom of other two tanks. And TEPCO said they found a dried stain under the pipe with 230 mSv/h radiation measurement.

One drop of liquid fell when a staff member pressed on insulation material around the pipe. But TEPCO said no contaminated water leak is expected as there were no change in the water level in tanks.

The enormous tanks are identical to the container that was announced last week to have leaked 300 tons of highly toxic water and sparking a hike to the threat level to "serious."

TEPCO will investigate the cause and look further if there were any leakage.

But TEPCO also took issue with reporting by some news outlets that the new radiation levels were high enough to cause death after several hours of exposure.

It said the highest levels measured were so-called beta radiation, which quickly dissipates over short distances and is easily shielded through the use of thin sheets of metal and foil.

"Since beta radiation is weak and can be blocked by a thin metal sheet such as aluminum, we think that we can control radiation exposure by using proper equipments and cloths," the company added.

Why Fukushima is worse than you think

TEPCO looks for outside help to stabilize Fukushima

Fukishima tuna study finds miniscule health risks

Japan ponders freezing ground

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT