The nuclear crisis that just won’t end has taken a dangerous turn as Japanese authorities admit radiation levels around Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than previously thought.┬áThe Fukushima nuclear crisis is becoming a case study in mismanagement as both the meltdown and continual confusion are a result of failures of communication.

Radiation levels around Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than previously thought, Japanese authorities have warned.

Last week the plant’s operator reported radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank into the ground. It now says readings taken near the leaking tank on Saturday showed radiation was high enough to prove lethal within four hours of exposure.

Waiting for the explanation from Tepco for the why the problem has exacerbated to this point, it is tragically hilarious.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) had originally said the radiation emitted by the leaking water was around 100 millisieverts an hour. However, the company said the equipment used to make that recording could only read measurements of up to 100 millisieverts.

The new recording, using a more sensitive device, showed a level of 1,800 millisieverts an hour.

Did you catch that? Tepco used a device that could only measure up to 100. Tepco reported the off the charts reading as 100 because that’s as high as it could be measured. However, it was never the real reading because of the known limitations of the equipment they were using. Now that they have better equipment they were off by a factor of 18. Seriously.

With the full reading workers will have to take extra precautions and those who worked under the presumption of the old reading will need medical evaluations. Tepco and the Japanese government are seemingly committed to ensuring people remain skeptical about the safety of nuclear power.

Update: And more leaks have been found.