Update -Japan’s Nuclear Crisis: Surging Radiation Forces Helicopters to Turn Back

R735440_5967732 Radiation exposure is an increasing worry inside the 20-kilometre zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant:  a helicopter (shown collecting sea water) that planned to eject water onto Reactor 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to prevent overheating was forced to turn back by radiation.

Japan's Nikkei reported that: "The Ground Self-Defense Force helicopters were on standby to drop water on the reactor as it is feared the reactor may have released radioactive steam due to damage to its containment vessel."

The Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) reported about the reactor's storage pond, which houses 514 highly radioactive spent fuel rods, that: "White plumes started rising from the reactor on Wednesday morning. Tokyo Electric Power Company says the vapor was steam caused by water evaporating from the reactor's storage pool for spent fuel rods, which is heating up. In an effort to avert the fuel rods' exposure, a Self Defense Force CH47 helicopter took off from the Sendai base hauling a large container of water on Wednesday afternoon. But the plan was aborted after radiation levels above the plant were found to have largely exceeded 50 millisieverts – the maximum permissible for SDF personnel on a mission."

The Daily Galaxy via newscientist.com and the Japan Broadcasting Company (NHK)


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