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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Deadly Fukushima Radiation Won't Delay Shutdown

(Updates with Tepco comment in sixth paragraph.)
Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The record-high radiation reading at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo won't delay work on containing the crisis, Goshi Hosono, the Japanese minister in charge of the disaster, said.
The utility known as Tepco said yesterday it recorded radiation of 10 sieverts per hour, the maximum reading on the Geiger counter used and the highest since the plant was hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11. A single dose of 10 sieverts would kill a person "within a few weeks," according to the website of the World Nuclear Association.
High radiation has previously impeded attempts to replace cooling systems to bring three melted reactors and four damaged spent fuel ponds under control because of danger to workers. The latest readings were taken at the base of the ventilation stack for reactors No. 1 and No. 2, which are away from the site's main working areas, Tepco said.
"It won't affect work to provide stable cooling," Hosono said today at a briefing in Tokyo. The cause of the radiation at that area will be investigated today, he said.

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