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Traces Of Radiation Found In U.S. Milk


WSJ | The U.S. government said Wednesday that traces of radiation have been found in milk in Washington state, but said the amounts are far too low to trigger any public-health concern.The Environmental Protection Agency said a March 25 sample of milk produced in the Spokane, Wash., area contained a 0.8 pico curies per literlevel of iodine-131, which it said was less than one five-thousandth of the safety safety guideline set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The EPA said it increased monitoring after radiation leaked from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It expects more such findings in coming days, but in amounts "far below levels of public-health concern, including for infants and children."

Iodine-131 has a half-life of about eight days, meaning levels should fade quickly. "These findings are a minuscule amount compared to what people experience every day," the agency said.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5732

Japan Paying Big Bucks To Work In Nuclear Plant


Dailymail.co.uk | Workers at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant are being paid vast sums of money to brave high radiation levels - as experts warn that the race to save the facility has been lost. 

Subcontractors are reportedly being offered up to 100,000 yen a day (£760) - 20 times the going rate - but some are still refusing the dangerous work. 

Radiation levels are still extremely high at the plant, with water around the reactors emitting a highly dangerous 1,000 millisieverts per hour. 

There are also fears that the plant is leaking more radiation as sea water around the plant was found to contain levels 3,335 higher than normal - almost three times higher than last week.

In a further development, an expert who helped design the plant said today that the race to prevent reactor number two melting down had been lost. 

The plant's operators also said today that the four reactors that suffered explosions will be shut down for good once they are under control - and could be sealed in special material to keep radiation in.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5616

Japan On Maximum Alert Over Nuclear Plant


Brietbart | Japan said on Tuesday it is on "maximum alert" over a crippled nuclear plant where highly radioactive water has halted repair work and plutonium has been found in the soil.

The earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan's northeast coast and left about 28,000 dead or missing also knocked out reactor cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, which has leaked radiation into the air and sea.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan conceded the situation at the coastal atomic power station remained "unpredictable" and pledged his government would "tackle the problem while in a state of maximum alert".

In a stop-gap measure to contain the crisis at the plant, crews have poured thousands of tons of water onto reactors where fuel rods are thought to have partially melted, and topped up pools for spent fuel rods.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5813

Plutonium Detected In Fukushima Soil

CNN | Plutonium has been detected in soil at five locations at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday.

The operator of the nuclear complex said that the plutonium is believed to have been discharged from nuclear fuel at the plant, which was damaged by the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

While noting that the concentration level does not pose a risk to human health, the utility firm said it will strengthen monitoring on the environment in and around the nuclear plant.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5923

Radiation Levels Soar In Japanese Seawater

MSNBC | Radioactivity levels are soaring in seawater near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, Japan's nuclear safety agency said on Saturday, two weeks after the nuclear power plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Even as engineers tried to pump puddles of radioactive water from the power plant 150 miles north of Tokyo, the nuclear safety agency said tests on Friday showed radioactive iodine had spiked 1,250 times higher than normal in the seawater just offshore the plant.

A senior official from Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Hidehiko Nishiyama, said the contamination posed little risk to aquatic life.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5614

Japanese Crisis Reveals Gaps In U.S. Radiation Monitoring System


WSJ | Part of the nation's key radiation warning system was out of service as the U.S. braced for possible exposure to the fallout from a nuclear crisis in Japan.

While no dangerous levels of radiation have reached American shores, the test of the monitoring network has spurred some lawmakers to question whether it can adequately safeguard the country against future disasters.

The system is crucial because federal officials use the monitors' readings to validate the impact of nuclear incidents, then alert local governments and the public.

  • Written by: John Galt
  • Category: Energy
  • Hits: 5503