Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: More on the Japanese Government Considering Raising the Radiation Limit for Workers

Following up on the post yesterday about the Japanese government contemplating raising the radiation limit for Fukushima I Nuke Plant workers, here's a tweet on April 11 by Miku Kakizawa, a Representative of Japan's lower house (House of Representatives), clearly quoting an official of the Kan Administration (Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano, most likely, but it could be a NISA official):

Regarding raising the radiation exposure limit to 250 milli-sievert/year, "According to the ICRP's international standard, the limit can be raised to 500 milli-sievert/year for a temporary work. However, it was too drastic to raise the limit [from 100 milli-sievert/year] to 500 milli-sievert/year, so we picked 250 milli-sievert/year," [according to the government].


So, 250 milli-sievert/year was just an arbitrary number on the way to higher limit. How high? Maybe even higher than 500 milli-sievert/year.

Why? Because of this report that appeared on March 31 (Nihon Television News 24; translation is mine):

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) suggested on March 31 that Japan take a more realistic approach to the annual radiation exposure limit in light of the prolonged Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.

The Japanese government raised the radiation exposure limit for the nuclear power plant workers from 100 milli-sievert/year to 250 milli-sievert/year. ICRP said this was too strict, and considering the severity of the accident the limit should be further raised to deal with the on-going situation at the plant. Specifically, according to ICRP, if the radiation exposure limit is set between 500 and 1,000 milli-sievert/year as ICRP recommends, there won't be immediate negative effect on health.

ICRP also suggested that the Japanese government consider raising the limit for the residents on an emergency basis, if the plant crisis continues longer.


  政府は、福島第一原発の事故を受けて、原子力関連施設での緊急作業従事者の被ばく線量限度をこれまでの100ミリシーベルトから250ミリシーベルトに引 き上げた。これに対して、ICRPは、国際的に見てもかなり厳しく設定した基準であるとして、現在の事故の重大性を考えると、緊急作業従事者については基 準を緩和してより現実的な対応をすべきとの提言を行った。具体的には、ICRPの勧告に沿って、緊急作業従事者の被ばく線量限度を500~1000ミリ シーベルトの範囲内で設定すれば、直ちに健康への影響はないとしている。


So the crisis may continue much longer, and ICRP recommends raising the limit for the ordinary people on this emergency situation which will last long? If an emergency lasts for long time, it's no longer an emergency, is it?

See, the Japanese government is conditioning the hapless residents of Japan. Slowly telling them 250 milli-sievert/year for the nuke plant workers is nothing, and even the 1,000 milli-sievert/year limit will have no immediate effect, because ICRP says so. As for the residents, well how about 100 milli-sievert/year? It would have no negative effect. (That's what ICRP says anyway.)

The government has already allowed school children in Fukushima Prefecture to be exposed up to 20 milli-sievert/year radiation anyway, so 100 milli-sievert/year for adults is nothing at this point.

Nihon Television is one of the major broadcasting companies in Japan, aligned with Yomiuri Shinbun.


netudiant said...

It seems inevitable that the crisis will last much longer than predicted.
The clean up to date is inconsequential and the reactors are largely on their own, apart from the somewhat desultory cooling effort, which is constrained because the plant is close to overflowing with highly radioactive cooling water.
The only ray of light is that there does not appear to have been a large increase in radiation detected over the past two days, even though there were inland winds with rain. That suggests the situation is less acute than it was initially.
The ten year time frame mentioned for the cleanup is probably the best guess for the crisis duration.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

10 years just to "cool" the reactors. Toshiba and Hitachi, along with GE, Westinghouse, Bechtel, are joining forces to decommission the plant. A huge money maker for everyone for a very long time. Toshiba says 10 years, Hitachi says 20. Yeah right. I'm sure uranium in Japan is different, just like snow in Japan was different.

netudiant said...

Well, the reality is that it is a mess and that there is no way to fix it sooner without 50,000-100,000 suicide volunteers.
So if Japan is lucky, it becomes a long term corporate welfare project. Might even become useful, once some other country has a serious nuclear upset.

Robbie 001 said...

If the world made sense these companies would be forced to offer their help free of charge since this is supposed to be an event that they all claim was so unlikely as to be impossible. The people who forced through the inferior Mark I design should be brought to trial instead we'll just pay them to fix the mess they made. Our planet is absolutely doomed. I'm not really religious but it makes you wonder when Christian god said man would destroy himself next time around after the flood.

I guess if you can't build enough new reactors cleaning up broken ones can be pretty lucrative too. How long will it take the industry to figure this out? "Oops, our reactor broke here's your $12.5 billion as per the Price Anderson agreement now we figure you're going to owe us about 100 billion over the next century for clean up and you'll need to pay us before we start (your credit sucks all BS aside you just had a major catastrophe)."

Ayumi said...

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