Still higher radiation readings have now been discovered at Fukushima. Levels of 2,200 millisieverts have now been recorded at ground level near some of the water storage tanks surpassing the 1,800 Millisievert levels recorded on Saturday.

Exposure to this level of radiation for one hour would give 110 times the maximum annual dose of radiation permitted for someone working in the Japanese nuclear industry. About the only bit of good news is that this is beta radiation, which is easily blocked by protective clothing, so fortunately workers at the plant are unlikely to have been harmed.

Without protection, exposure to radiation at this new higher strength would be lethal in less than four hours. The highly radioactive contaminated water is sinking into the ground, passing into the groundwater, which flows under the site from the surrounding hills and from there to the sea. This story keeps getting worse and worse. I hope we’ve reached rock bottom now, but I doubt it.

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