“A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, Kyodo news agency said.
Masayuki Ono, general manager of Tepco, told Reuters news agency: “One hundred millisieverts per hour is equivalent to the limit for accumulated exposure over five years for nuclear workers; so it can be said that we found a radiation level strong enough to give someone a five-year dose of radiation within one hour.”
..and 300 tons of that same water has been pouring into the ocean everyday for God knows how long.
typette on tumblr explains more:
Just to put a bit of a recap for those who haven’t heard or don’t know what’s happening:
Basically, the core of the plant has melted into the ground. They have two options: Keep trying to cool it and prevent it going further, which they are doing with seawater. However, this now contaminated seawater is leaking into the ground- the water table and the groundwater, and is spreading. Probably into the ocean, or, into farmland. It’s impossible to know where it’s heading right now. The other option is to dig it up, but that would release a very very dangerous amount of radiation, both in gas/dust form, and to the workers. It would be another suicide mission and contaminate the air ever worse.
Their options right now are being weighed, as to what can be done. As it stands.
as of today, this disaster has surpassed Chernobyl in terms of airborne radiation:
These are far larger amounts than those released into the atmosphere in gaseous form: for example, more than 27 times the amount of cesium-137 released into the air in the first three weeks, or about 2.5 to 3.3 times, depending on the estimate, the total amount released into the environment from the Chernobyl accident.
the official press release source is here, with their proposed outline of action.
I don’t want to turn this into a major nuclear discussion but… well, you already know.