No, radiation levels at Fukushima Daiichi are not rising

— Yes, TEPCO has measured very high radiation inside Daichi Unit 2. — No, it does’t mean radiation levels there are rising. In response to visual investigation results and high radiation measurements recently taken by TEPCO inside Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2, many news outlets have published stories with headlines like “Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.” (The Guardian, Feb. 3, 2017). https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/03/fukushima-daiichi-radiation-levels-highest-since-2011-meltdown http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170202/p2g/00m/0dm/087000c https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/record-radiation-level-detected-inside-damaged-fukushima-reactor This has led to a number of alarming stories claiming that radiation at Daiichi has “spiked” to unprecedented levels. That’s not what the findings indicate, however. In addition, Safecast’s own measurements, including our Pointcast realtime detector system have shown radiation levels near Daiichi to be steadily declining. As described in the Safecast Report, Vol.2, Section 2.1.4, TEPCO and its research partners have been developing robots and remote visualization devices to search for melted fuel debris deep inside the Daiichi reactor units, and to help plan for its eventual removal. On January 30th, 2017, a long telescoping device with a camera and radiation measurement device attached was inserted through an existing opening in the reactor containment of Unit 2 for the first time, and successfully extended approximately 8 meters into in an area known as the “pedestal,” to measure and take images from immediately below the damaged reactor pressure vessel (RPV). In addition to finding the area covered with molten material likely to be fuel debris, radiation levels of 530 Sieverts per hour were detected, which would be fatal to a person exposed for only a few seconds. It must be stressed that radiation in this area has not been measured before, and it was expected to be extremely high. While 530 Sv/hr is the highest measured so far at Fukushima Daiichi, it does not mean that levels there are rising, but that a … Continue reading No, radiation levels at Fukushima Daiichi are not rising