It has been years since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear power plant to experience a triple meltdown. However, radiation levels are at an all-time high.
Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) recently measured the radiation levels inside of reactor number two and received an “unimaginable” 530 sieverts an hour reading. The Guardian explained that even if a 30-percent margin of error is taken into account, the reading is far higher than the previous record if 73 sieverts and hour detected by sensors in 2012.
Just 8 sieverts can cause incurable damages with fatal consequences. TEPCO believes the excessive amount of radiation to be the result of a hole that was discovered beneath the reactor’s pressure vessel. The size of the hole is about 1 square meter. They believe the opening to have resulted by melted nuclear fuel that found its way though the vessel.
According to Tepco, the levels were measured by analyzing the electronic noise in the camera images caused by the radiation. Unfortunately, an official at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences said medical professionals have never considered dealing with this level of radiation in their work.
In the latest attempt to harvest data from the reactor, a Toshiba robot designed to withstand high radiation levels died five times faster than expected. The robot was supposed to be able to tolerate at least 73 sieverts of radiation per hour, however, the reactor is obviously leaking a much higher amount.
Back in February, a scorpion robot began stalling after its total radiation exposure limit was met within just two hours.
Sadly, investigations have shown that the Fukushima incident could have been avoided had Tepco met their basic safety requirements.
A recent poll found that over 80% of the Japanese population does not trust the government in regards to the ongoing nuclear crisis.
Unfortunately, for now, as the levels appear to be climbing even higher, we have yet to obtain any further information since the 530 sieverts measurement. Until a robot is designed to withstand the massive amount of radiation seeping from the reactors, it appears that we will have to wait. But, what happens if the levels do continue to climb? What implications could follow not only for the Japanese population but for the rest of the world? Hopefully, we find out soon so that we can begin to thwart this crisis in its footsteps before it gets completely out of hand.