10 Janvier 2014
January 10, 2014
Radiation rises from Fukushima water tanks
Nuclear regulators will discuss measures to prevent the increase of radiation levels around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The level of radiation at the plant's border rose to more than 8 milisieverts in annualized figures in December, from less than 1 milisievert in March in the same year.
The regulators say that's due to the increasing number of storage tanks for radioactive water at the plant. There are now about 1,000 tanks at the site.
They explained that the water basically emits beta-rays, which are too weak to penetrate the steel tanks. But they say, when beta-rays hit metals, stronger X-rays come out of the tanks, affecting the environment.
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority sets the limit for radiation doses at the plant's border at less than 1 milisievert per year. The current reading is 8 times the targeted limit.
On Friday, the regulators are holding a meeting of experts to discuss measures against the increase.
The officials say they have been aware of the problem for a certain period of time, but could not deal with it as they were occupied with the issue of contaminated water.
They said they will come up with measures against the rise as it is needed to reduce the radiation dose plant workers are exposed to.
Jan. 10, 2014 - Updated 02:27 UTC