Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has detected record levels of radioactivity in the basement at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1, Agence France Press reports. The article states:
"Radiation levels above radioactive water in the basement reached up to 10,300 millisievert an hour, a dose that will kill humans within a short time after making them sick within minutes.
The annual allowed dose for workers at the stricken site is reached in only 20 seconds."
10,300 MSv/hr, or 1,030 Rem/hr, means workers cannot approach such areas. Robots and remote control equipment must be used. The problem is, the technology doesn't yet exist. Robotic equipment sent into Unit 2 several months ago was quickly short-circuited by high radiation fields. Decommissioning is expected to take decades and cost tens of billions of dollars or more.
When robots failed in high radiation fields in Chernobyl in 1986, human "bio-robots" were sent in instead. Countless thousands of the 800,000 to 1.2 million "liquidators" -- mostly young male privates in the army -- thrown at Chernobyl have died early deaths in the quarter century since.