Weeks ago, officials at Japan's radiation-seeping Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant had assured the public that the situation had "stabilized." On Tuesday, however, TEPCO informed news outlets that officials have "detected the highest radiation levels at the facility since the initial earthquake and tsunami five months ago," relayed CNN. In the handout image pictured above taken with a gamma ray camera, the red dots show the areas on a ventilation stack between the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors "where radiation exceeding 10 sieverts (10,000 millisieverts) per hour was found," according to the Reuters image description. A 60-minute dose of that level of radiation could be fatal, says CNN. Al Jazeera's Aela Callan likewise said the levels were "fatal to humans."
The troubling discovery hasn't swayed officials of their timetable to have a shutdown set for January. And because the high radiation levels were found away from the main working sites, it won't affect the efforts to continue to cool the reactors, reported Bloomberg. But the radiation finding is especially troubling, as Al Jazeera's Callan put it, because "It is now looking more likely that this area has been this radioactive since the earthquake and tsunami but no one realised until now."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.