April 14, 2011

Update from Japan

Radiation levels in the seawater near Fukushima continue to to be a major concern. Here's a chart showing the trend. The latest three data points come from Tokyo Electric Power's own press releases.

The legal limit for radiation in seawater is .04 Bq/cm3. 
The last reading on the chart is 800 Bq/cm3. 

This is 20,000 times the legal limit. 

Readings taken in the sea near the plant showed that levels of the radioactive isotope iodine 131 have continued to rise, testing at 4,385 times the statutory limit on Thursday, nearly four times higher than on Sunday, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. That rise increases the likelihood that contaminants from the plant are continuously leaking into the sea, he said.

The NY Times reports that Iodine 131 was also detected at levels 10,000 times the safety limit in groundwater near Reactor No. 1.

Some recent I-131 radiation readings: 

1.8 billion Bq/liter in water in the turbine building at Fukushima
400,000 Bq/liter in groundwater near the Fukushima plant
175,000 Bq/liter in seawater near the Fukushima plant
50 Bq/liter in drinking water in Tokyo
3.7 Bq/liter in rainwater in Pennsylvania

40 Bq/liter is legal limit for radiation in water

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