I remain as worried. And, I think, rightly so. Tokyo remains at risk from this plant, as does a large tract of Japan. If this plant can’t be made safe – and so far there’s been an absurd and wholly inappropriate belief that the market can solve this which is now looking decidedly misplaced – then the impact on the world’s financial systems will be colossal.
Readings carried out by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority at steel tanks used to store thousands of tons of radioactive water showed readings have soared 20 per cent to a new high of 2,200 millisieverts per hour.
The new high was at the same “hot spot” identified by the agency on Saturday, when the level stood at 1,800 millisieverts. Experts say exposure to that level of radiation for more than a couple of hours could prove fatal to a human.
“The radiation concentration was found in the H3 area of storage tanks, which are the same type of tanks that have leaked in the past,” a spokesperson for Tokyo Electric Power Co. told The Daily Telegraph.
“The reading of 2,200 millisieverts was found around 5 cm from the tank, but it had fallen to 40 millisieverts per hour 50 cm from the tank,” the spokesman said.
They’ve found a patch 2 foot across which is emitting beta radiation (ie, stopped by a stout pair of gumboots) well above the level you want anyone to be exposed to. This does not a disaster make.
Tokyo is not in danger. Imagine all those water tanks flooded into the bay: I wouldn’t be all that keen on eating shellfish from the bay for a few years but other than that the total effect on the planet would be around and about zero.
Yes, they need to get the fuel rods out, yes, there’s the cores still to deal with. But they’re not going to go bang, they’re not about to go critical or anything. We’ve a very expensive problem of some very poisonous metal lying around. But no more problem than that.