WSJ: Japan Scrambles to Avert Meltdown
Asked about the impact of radiation at eight times higher than normal levels, Naoto Sekimura, a professor of quantum engineering at Tokyo University, said on national broadcaster NHK, "This is a minuscule amount. This is not going to have negative impact on the human body."
Inside the control room at Unit 1, the amount of radiation earlier Saturday reached around 1,000 times normal, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said, according to Kyodo. Attempts to fix the problem at the plant—a buildup of heat and pressure inside the reactor—were going more slowly than planned, according to the government's nuclear agency, quoted by the NHK broadcaster.
Radiation levels aren't supposed to rise in a control room, which is designed to allow operators to continue working during emergencies and is equipped with filtration systems and other design features to protect workers from radiation exposure. Nevertheless, experts said that a level that is 1,000 times normal probably isn't immediately harmful.
Fukushima Nuclear Plants 1-4.
Views of Fukushima Unit 1 Explosion and fire, believed to be caused by Hydrogen gas buildup
Video of Fukushima Unit 1 Explosion, believed to be caused by Hydrogen gas buildup
(Added 3-13-11) Video of Fukushima Unit 3 Explosion, believed to be caused by Hydrogen gas buildup
Japan declares emergencies at 5 nuclear units...