Japan's nuclear regulator raps Fukushima operator over radiation readings
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's nuclear regulator has criticised the operator of the stricken Fukushima plant for incorrectly measuring radiation levels in contaminated groundwater at the site.
Almost three years since the reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi station, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) still lacks basic understanding of measuring and handling radiation, Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said on Wednesday. The utility has been widely criticised for an inept response to the March 2011 disaster.
Tepco said last week that groundwater drawn from a monitoring well last July contained a record 5 million becquerels per litre of dangerous radioactive strontium-90 - more than five times the total beta radiation reading of 900,000 becquerels per litre recorded in the well, which is around 25m from the ocean.
Tepco said there was a calibration mistake with one machine measuring strontium levels of well water at the plant, and it had also found an error with devices that decipher all-beta radiation.