High Radiation Detected On Floor Above Crippled Fukushima Reactor

Extremely high level of radiation has been detected on a floor just above the No.2 reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, the plant operator said on Thursday.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said a reading of 880 millisieverts per hour of radiation was detected on the fifth floor, which is 4.5 meters above the reactor containment vessel. The reading was taken by a robot which the company deployed in the reactor building on Wednesday.

Tepco suspects that radioactive substances leaked from the No.2 reactor moved through the location. It could not find the exact route the radioactive substances moved even after analyzing the images taken by the robot, Japanese media reported.

The No.2 reactor is believed to have released the largest amount of radioactive substances during the Fukushima nuclear accident caused by the disastrous earthquake and the massive tsunami it unleashed on Japan's north-east on March 11, 2011. But the overall route they took has not been determined. Residents in 20 kilometer radius of the stricken plant had been evacuated following the accident, the second biggest after Chernobil.

Tepco needs to find and repair the damaged parts of the reactor to recover melted nuclear fuel before starting to decommission the reactor. But it says high radiation often stops workers from entering the building.

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