Seawater just outside one of Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors registered radiation levels on Wednesday 13 times the previous day’s reading, the operator of the crippled nuclear plant said on Thursday.
Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), said combined Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 readings just outside the damaged No. 2 reactor jumped to 1,200 becquerels per liter on Wednesday, the highest levels recorded since late 2011.
Regulatory limits for Cesium, which emits powerful gamma radiation and is potentially fatal to humans, is 90 bq/liter for Cesium-137 and 60 bq/liter for Cesium-134.
A TEPCO spokesman said the sudden spike in radiation was caused by construction work near the No. 2 building, Reuters reported.
News of the spike in radiation levels is the latest setback this week for TEPCO, which has been harshly criticized for its handling of the nuclear disaster in the wake of the massive quake and tsunami that hit the power station in March 2011, triggering three reactor meltdowns.
On Wednesday, six workers were exposed to radiation after a pipe connected to a contaminated water treatment system was mistakenly detached. Reuters estimates that at least 7 tons of water escaped the system.
Earlier, a worker accidentally switched off a water pump used to channel water into the reactor building.
Continue reading at Fukushima radiation levels hit 2-year high