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Friday, 20 May 2011

Japan's Fukushima Reactor May Have Leaked Radiation Before Tsunami Struck -

Japan's Fukushima Reactor May Have Leaked Radiation Before Tsunami Struck - 



A radiation alarm went off at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima nuclear power plant before the tsunami hit on March 11, suggesting that contrary to earlier assumptions the reactors were damaged by the earthquake that spawned the wall of water.

monitoring post on the perimeter of the plant about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from the No. 1 reactor went off at 3:29 p.m., minutes before the station was overwhelmed by the tsunami that knocked out backup power that kept reactor cooling systems running, according to documents supplied by the company. The monitor was set to go off at high levels of radiation, an official said.
“We are still investigating whether the monitoring post was working properly,” said Teruaki Kobayashi, the company’s head of nuclear facility management. “There is a possibility that radiation leaked before the tsunami arrived.” Kobayashi said he didn’t have the exact radiation reading that would trigger the sensor.
Officials at the company, known as Tepco, had earlier said the plant stood up to the magnitude-9 quake and was crippled by the tsunami that followed, causing the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986. The early radiation alarm has implications for other reactors in Japan, one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world, because safety upgrades ordered by the government since March 11 have focused on the threat from tsunamis. 


Read more - http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-19/fukushima-may-have-leaked-radiation-before-quake.html

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