More information has come out about the contamination caused by the demolition work on unit 3. It was not the government, or TEPCO who found this was happening. Researchers from Kyoto University confirmed the problem in March 2014 and alerted the government. Had the university not been operating dust monitors on a regular basis, this issue likely would not have been admitted or known.
4 trillion becquerels were released in the August 19th incident and spread as far as 50km north and west from the plant. The researchers now say there were other incidents in May and June of 2013. High readings that were 20 to 30 times higher were found in Minamisoma. Soma, 48km from the plant saw readings 6 times higher than normal. Monitoring posts at Fukushima Daiichi and in Minamisoma didn’t show significant increases on the 19th.
TEPCO admitted to the release and it being from demolition work then turned around and tried to deny it. Work to remove the cover from unit 1 and begin demolition work is set to begin this month. TEPCO claims they will do something to try to prevent more releases during demolition but gave no explanation how they plan to do this. Demolition work of contaminated portions of the reactor buildings will be ongoing for possibly the next 50 years or more making this a long term risk to any people or farming operations in the region. This also raises questions about the government plans to return people and farming operations to the areas near the the plant.
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