Update on Fukushima
The US mainstream news is not covering the many developments around these year old triple melted down reactors.
The first thing which caught my eye in the most recent Greenpeace update on the on-going crisis is that workers attempting to get into reactors 2 and 3 had to abandon their efforts because a year after the accident, radiation levels were at 160 milliseverts and hour. At this level even with full protective gear, it is too dangerous for humans inside these reactor buildings. This is the first time they have even tried to get to these reactors since the meltdowns on March 11, 2011. TEPCO says robots will be needed to go where the humans can not.
Already work at reactor 1 is being attempted by undersea robots which are seeking to remove highly radioactive cores from this melted down reactor. The robots need visibility of 7 m to function. Visibility is dramatically reduced from a year ago and is now only 1 m. Robots cant tackle Fukushima problems either.
And while it is proving harder than anticipated to get at the most highly concentrated sources within these reactor buildings, heavy rains have been driving contamination into the soil in the large surrounding area. Radioactive Cesium has been found 5 cm underground because of the recent rains and is believed to be between 10 and 30 cm underground dramatically complicating decontamination efforts.
And to add to the worries of this land a 6.8 magnitude quake landed a 20 cm high tsunami in the northeastern part of Japan last Wednesday.