Japan: TEPCO apologizes for false radiation report

The operator of the Fukushima plant in Japan initially reported that radiation levels in the water at the number 2 reactor, tested 10 million times higher than normal prompting an evacuation of workers. However hours later, the TEPCO apologized, saying the real reading was far lower, though still dangerously high.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company has announced that it is investigating a radiation reading that sent workers fleeing the Number 2 reactor over the weekend.

Officials initially said the water was found to contain 10 million times the amount of radioactive iodine that is normal in the reactor.

TEPCO officials

They later said the reading was erroneous, adding that number should be 100,000 times, far better than the first results, though still very high.

The air in Unit 2, meanwhile measured at 1,000 millisieverts per hour – four times the limit deemed safe by the government.

Radiation levels in the sea off the plant rose on Sunday to 1,850 times normal, from 1,250 on Saturday.

Officials said efforts have been made to contain radioactive substances.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said, “People within the plant’s 20-kilometer radius have already been ordered to leave. The radioactive substances are largely diluted by the time they are absorbed by marine life, and even more so by the time they are consumed by humans, so there is no need to worry about health hazards.”

Japan’s nuclear safety agency says that extracting the radioactive water is a priority.

Up to 600 people are working inside the nuclear power plant in shifts. Some of them are trying to pump radioactive water out of the plant.

Two workers were hospitalized Thursday when they suffered burns after stepping into contaminated water around the Unit 3 reactor.

They are to be released from the hospital Monday.

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