Record levels of radiation have been recorded at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant reactor, just months after the nuclear accident resulting from the earthquake and tsunami in March.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported that Geiger counters – a hand-held device used to measure radiation – registered their highest possible reading at the site on Monday.
TEPCO said that radiation exceeding 10 sieverts [10,000 millisieverts] per hour was found at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between two reactors.
Al Jazeera’s Aela Callan, reporting from Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture, said the level recorded was “fatal to humans” but that it was contained just to the plant’s site. However, scientists are planning to carry out more tests on Tuesday.
“Authorities are working on the theory though that it has come from those initial hydrogen explosions that we’ve seen at the plant in the days after the earthquake and tsunami,” she said.
“It is now looking more likely that this area has been this radioactive since the earthquake and tsunami but no one realised until now.”