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In Japan Dangerous Level of Radioactivity Flares up Contaminates SeaWater,Greenpeace detects harmful radiation in Itate village 40 km north of Fukushima,calls for expanding the 20 km evacuation zone which government rejects,TEPCO asks for French Areva EDF CEA help

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The Japanese Nuclear Disaster has resurfaced again after a spate of positive news for the last 7 days in which 2 of the 6 reactors at the Fukushima plant were successfully shutdown.TEPCO the utility which owns the damaged nuclear plant has mismanaged the whole situation right from the start and now after almost 2 weeks is calling for French specialist nuclear companies EDF,CEA and Areva for help.Don’t know what TEPCO was doing as it is apparent to even a layman that the Nuclear Disaster was getting out of hand.

Radiation in Japan seawater, soil may be spreading

Workers at Japan’s damaged nuclear plant raced to pump out contaminated water suspected of sending radioactivity levels soaring as officials warned Monday that radiation seeping from the complex was spreading to seawater and soil.The frantic effort to get temperatures down and avert a widening disaster has been slowed and complicated by fires, explosions, leaks and dangerous spikes in radiation. Two workers were burned after wading into highly radioactive water, officials said.

Dangerous levels of radiation has been detected in the water around the reactors as the Japanese government says that a partial meltdown has occured.While there is no confirmation about cracks in the pressure and containment vessels around the reactors,the radiation in the water  inside Unit 2 has tested at radiation levels some 100,000 times normal amounts.Workers also discovered radioactive water in the deep trenches outside three units, with the airborne radiation levels outside Unit 2 exceeding 1,000 millisieverts per hour _ more than four times the amount that the government considers safe for workers.TEPCO officials said Sunday that radiation in leaking water in Unit 2 was 10 million times above normal.TEPCO has been giving confusing figures for radiation making it all the more difficult in understanding the gravity of the nuclear crisis.Note this disaster is only second to Chernobyl in its scale of radiation destruction.Tokyo and other parts have reported intermittently about high radiation in water and air.A ship from Mitsui was recently turned back from  a Chinese port because of high levels of radiation.

Areva says Japan requests French nuclear help

French nuclear reactor maker Areva (CEPFi.PA: Quote) confirmed on Monday that it had received a request from Japan to help deal with its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.French Energy Minister Eric Besson told RTL radio earlier on Monday that Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) had made a request for assistance.

“TEPCO for the first time, 36 hours ago, asked for the help of relevant French companies, EDF (EDF.PA: Quote), Areva and the CEA (French nuclear research body)

Greenpeace confirms radiation levels of up to 10 microsieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of the nuclear plant.

Greenpeace has detected harmful radiation levels in an area 40 km northwest of Fukushima and called the Japanese government to extend the evacuation zone of 20 km which the Japanese officials rejected calling Greenpeace readings unreliable.Note the government readings so far have not inspired much confidence either.The government has called for “voluntary” evacuation of people living between 20-30 km which does not make much sense in such a dangerous and confusing scenario.The cumulative radiation level of 1 mSv is what people are normally exposed to in a year while The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry of Japan said Saturday that 1.323 to 2.829 mSv of radiation was detected in four villages 30 kilometers northwest of the reactor Wednesday to Friday.

Japan rejects Greenpeace argument for expanding evacuation zone

Japan’s nuclear safety agency on Monday rebuffed a call by Greenpeace to extend an evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima power plant.

An agency official told a news briefing that the measurements of high radiation the group said it had found at 40 km (255 miles) from the facility could not be considered reliable.

He added that most residents in the area concerned had left and hardly anyone was living there anymore.

The environmental group earlier said it had confirmed radiation levels of up to 10 microsieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of the nuclear plant.


Abhishek Shah

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