Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"A partial melting Fukushima" New strong earthquake

TOKYO - high levels of radiation in Fukushima and a new strong earthquake. The news coming from Japan, fueling concern, especially as regards the nuclear power plant severely damaged by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March. Despite the efforts of the technicians, the situation does not improve plant in Fukushima.

The government in Tokyo said that the high radioactivity of the water in reactor No. 2 of the plant may be due "to the partial melting of the fuel rods." A phenomenon that the chief of staff, Yukio Edan, defines "temporary". But TEPCO engineers have now found a "surge" level of radioactivity outside the reactor 2 has millisievert topping a height of 1,000 per hour.

The latest news from the troubled central word is not good and give shape to the hypothesis of damage to the container, the water pipes of the system or the valves connecting the reactor No 3, the most dangerous because it is fed to MOX fuel made of uranium and plutonium, the radioactive isotope used in the form of more lethal.

The power company that operates the plant has also made known that as many as five points in the soil around the plant were found to contain plutonium. The substance of fuel would come from a damaged reactor, but according to TEPCO would not be a concern for human health, so that work on the safety of Fukushima "go ahead".

And to make matters worse in the north-east of Japan, the earth continues to tremble. An earthquake measuring 6.5 Richter was recorded off the coast already devastated. A tsunami warning has been launched and withdrawn after a short time for the prefecture of Miyagi. The quake, whose epicenter was located more than 17 km deep, did not cause casualties or damage.

The authorities must be regarded as a replica of that on 11 March that reached magnitude 9. Returning to the situation in Fukushima, it should be noted that in seawater taken from 30 meters away from the reactors 5 and 6 was found a rate of iodine-131 well above the normal 1,150 times. The Nuclear Safety Agency Japan stated that the tests had so far been charged in the southern part of the plant, near the reactors 1-4, the most damaged: here the level of iodine 131 in the last survey was 2,000 times higher than normal.

Levels of radioactivity, there was much confusion. Yesterday, the TEPCO, the company that operates the center, he apologized for mistakes by announcing a level of radioactivity 10 million times greater than normal number 2 to the reactor and then corrected, and resize the figure to 100 000 times.

One mistake that today the government "unacceptable": "Even if the enormous commitment of those working on the site may help to explain the error, you must consider that the verification of radiation is an important condition for security: This type of failure is absolutely unacceptable, "said the spokesman Edan.

Instead there's reassuring news on the degree of hazard of the toxic cloud that flew over Japan from playing in Italy over the weekend. The National Institute of Nuclear Physics is still completing the analysis, but initial results are encouraging. "Iodine 131 recorded during the weekend - says Ezio Previtali INFN - is very low, about 40-50 micro becquerels per cubic meter, while the cesium is almost undetectable.

Do not see dangers then, but monitoring is continuous because the circulation of winds may bring more clouds here. "

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