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Science

Submission + - Level Rises after TEPCO Pumps Out Radioacti (kyodonews.jp)

DrJimbo writes: Kyodo News is reporting that the water level in the tunnel near the turbine building for reactor No. 2 rose 4.5 cm and is now only 1.5 cm lower than it was before they pumped out 600 tons of highly radioactive water. A NISA spokesman said 'As there is believed to be around 20,000 tons of water (in the No. 2 reactor turbine building and the trench connected to it), we're feeling the difficulty of lowering the level of the water in a stable manner.' They want to pump out the tunnels before the turbine buildings to prevent more water from leaking into the ocean. The water in the No. 2 turbine building and tunnel is ten times more radioactive than the water in turbine building No. 3 that burned three workers.
Science

Submission + - Severity of Fukushima accident to be raised? (japantimes.co.jp)

DrJimbo writes: The Japan Times Online is reporting that "the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels [1 x 10^16 Bq] of radioactive materials per hour at some point [for several hours]". According to my calculations, this is six orders of magnitude higher than the numbers released regarding the radioactivity flowing into the ocean from the pit near reactor #2. Perhaps there was a mistake somewhere.

To put this into perspective, the Chernobyl accident released 1.4 x 10^19 Bq. So if the numbers from the article are to be believed then Fukushima was releasing almost 0.1% of Chernobyl's release per hour.

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