[ RadSafe ] Maybe not 50

Jeff Terry terryj at iit.edu
Mon Mar 14 23:15:08 CDT 2011

The Wall Street Journal reports that some of the 50 have been evacuated.


National broadcaster NHK said the radiation level at the plant reached 8,217 micro sieverts an hour, which is at least eight times the amount recommended for an individual in a year. The number later fell back to around 2,400 micro sieverts, NHK said.

Kyodo News Agency reported that radiation 400 times the legal limit had been measured near the plant's No. 3 reactor.

TEPCO said it was evacuating an undisclosed number of workers from the plant who were not involved in containment efforts. It said it initially left a team of 50 employees to deal with the crisis, but that an unknown number of those have evacuated.

Kyodo quoted a TEPCO official as saying there was a possibility that there had been some melting of the rods that hold the nuclear material, a sign of a worsening situation that could require more drastic steps.

A Nuclear Safety Agency official, speaking to reporters informally, stressed that all of the information on the state of the plant is tentative at present due to the inability to inspect the reactor because of the dangers from the radiation, leaving operators to rely on pressure gauges and other instruments to make their best estimate of what's happening. He said that some of the data offered contradictory indications of what was actually taking place.


Jeff Terry
Asst. Professor of Physics
Life Science Bldg Rm 166
Illinois Institute of Technology
3101 S. Dearborn St. 
Chicago IL 60616
terryj at iit.edu

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