Coming from the Japan Times today publishing this without facing their own mistake and apologizing for it, it is really quite hypocritical because it is their own mistranslation of the Kyodo news article which started this misled interpretation by all the western media during the past week.
U.S. expert decries misleading Fukushima reports about ‘soaring’ radiation
WASHINGTON – A member of the American Nuclear Society has written online that radiation levels at the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Japan are not “soaring” as reported by some media last week.
Will Davis, a consultant and writer for the professional membership organization, left a post on its blog, ANS Nuclear Cafe, saying the claims that experts are finding the levels unimaginable are “demonstrably false.”
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., better known as Tepco, said on Feb. 2 that it estimated the radiation below the pressure vessel in the No. 2 reactor’s primary containment vessel to be as high as 530 sieverts per hour based on readings from a remotely controlled camera it stuck in there.
Following the announcement, some media ran reports suggesting the radiation levels had recently risen or mentioned unnamed experts as calling the reading unimaginable.
In his post, dated Tuesday, Davis noted that the earlier readings in the reactor 2 had not been taken at the same spot.
“This is not a ‘soaring’ level but actually just the first detection of the actual level at a place nearer to the damaged fuel.
“No announcement of any altered radiation levels anywhere on the site, or outside of it, has been made because there are no level changes,” he wrote.
The post said the radiation estimate is far from unimaginable, adding that readings taken near the melted fuel at Chernobyl were described as well over 100 sieverts per hour, while an actual level of 1,000 sieverts was reported near the aqueous homogeneous HRE-2 reactor after it developed a hole in its reactor vessel in the late 1950s.
Tepco must conduct more robot probes of the three meltdown-hit reactors to clean up the fuel and decommission them.
Lost in translation: Fukushima readings are not new spikes, just the same “hot mess” that’s always been there
The ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe has been back in the news lately following record high readings at the reactor site. Radiation levels were a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest recorded since the triple core meltdown in March 2011.
But upon further examination, the story has been misreported, in part due to mistranslation. In fact, according to Nancy Foust of SimplyInfo.org, interviewed on Nuclear Hotseat, there was no spike. High readings were in expected locations that TEPCO was only able to access recently. Therefore, the reading became evident because workers were getting closer to the melted fuel in more dangerous parts of the facility. In other words, it’s not a new hot mess, just the same hot mess it’s always been, pretty much from the beginning. The good news is nothing has changed. The bad news is – nothing has changed.
The confusion was initially caused by a translation error that SimplyInfo.org thinks occurred between the Kyodo News and Japan Times. Since this happened, Foust and her group have been trying to get news sources to correct the stories, with limited success.
The elevated radiation levels are inside containment (good news) in ruined unit 2 and were discovered using a camera, not proper radiation monitors. Therefore, the high reading may not be reliable since it is an estimate based on interference data with the camera. TEPCO is planning on sending in a robot properly equipped with radiation detectors to take a reliable reading. Although no date has been given, TEPCO indicates it expects to deploy the robot within 30 days or so.
Foust theorizes that the bulk of spent fuel is probably right below the reactor vessel burned into the concrete below. No one knows if fuel has gone into the ground water below that.