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Radiation 'fatally high' at Japan reactor - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and much less water to cool it than officials had estimated, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant's stability.

A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the containment chamber of Fukushima Daiichi plant's number 2 reactor for the second time since the tsunami swept into the complex more than a year ago.

The data collected on Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster is so severe that the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant. The process is expected to last decades.

The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The number 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.

...The probe also found that the containment vessel, a beaker-shaped container enclosing the core, had cooling water up to only 60 centimeters from the bottom, far below the 10 metres estimated when the government declared the plant stable in December.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2012 at 02:29:17 PM EST

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