Emergency workers struggling to pump contaminated water from Japan’s stricken nuclear complex fled from one of the troubled reactors Sunday after reporting a huge increase in radioactivity — a spike that officials later apologetically said was inaccurate.
The apology came after employees fled the complex’s Unit 2 reactor when a reading showed radiation levels had reached 10 million times higher than normal in the reactor’s cooling system. Officials said they were so high that the worker taking the measurements had withdrawn before taking a second reading.
On Sunday night, though, plant operators said that while the water was contaminated with radiation, the extremely high reading was a mistake. “The number is not credible,” said Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Takashi Kurita. “We are very sorry.”
He said officials were taking another sample to get accurate levels, but did not know when the results would be announced.