TEPCO Finally Seeks Outside Help, As Pot Calls Kettle Radioactive – Government Says Not To Trust Greenpeace Radiation Data
by Tyler Durden
It only took TEPCO about two weeks to realize what had been so glaringly obviously to many – namely that the company is largely unprepared to deal successfully with the Fukushima catastrophe on its own. Reuters reports that TEPCO, which has conceded it faces a protracted and uncertain operation to contain the crisis, sought outside help, asking help from French firms including Electricite de France SA and Areva SA. The question now arises whether it is too late for any help to come, and how fast before the sudden inlfux of new cooks spoils the radioactive broth. The news comes after TEPCO announced highly radioactive water has leaked from a reactor at Japan’s crippled nuclear complex, as environmental group Greenpeace said it had detected high levels of radiation outside an exclusion zone.
Reflecting growing unease about efforts to control the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi complex, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) had appealed to French companies for help, the Kyodo news agency said.
The plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, was damaged in a March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left more than 27,000 people dead or missing across northeast Japan.
Fires, explosions and radiation leaks have repeatedly forced engineers to suspend efforts to stabilise the plant, including on Sunday when radiation levels spiked to 100,000 times above normal in water inside reactor No. 2.
Apparently one can have a partial meltdown, which is comparable to being only partially pregnant:
A partial meltdown of fuel rods inside the reactor vessel was responsible for the high levels of radiation at that reactor although Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the radiation had mainly been contained in the reactor building.
TEPCO later said radiation above 1,000 millisieverts per hour was found in water in tunnels used for piping outside the reactor.
That is the same as the level discovered on Sunday. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a single dose of 1,000 millisieverts is enough to cause haemorrhaging.
TEPCO officials said the underground tunnels did not flow into the sea but the possibility of radioactive water seeping into the ground could not be ruled out.