Monday, August 29, 2011

Worker Died of Acute Leukemia, TEPCO Said in Aug 30 Press Conference

But the doctor assured the company that the death had nothing to do with having worked at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

The unnamed worker died in early August, after having worked at Fukushima I for about a week. TEPCO's Matsumoto says the company does not know where the worker had worked before he came to Fukushima I. He's from one of TEPCO's 1st-tier subcontractors.

Since the death has nothing to do with having worked in Fukushima I Nuke Plant, TEPCO is not going to track the worker's past work history or conduct further investigation. TEPCO will not release personal information about the worker, either.

The radiation exposure of the worker was 0.5 millisievert external radiation, and zero internal radiation for the duration of his work at Fukushima I.

Additional information from Mainichi (8/30/2011):

The worker was in his 40s. At Fukushima I, his work included manning the rest area and radiation control of the workers. There was no abnormal reading of white blood cells before he started to work at Fukushima I. He worked for about a week in August, and fell ill. He was diagnosed with acute leukemia, and died at the hospital. His company reported his death to TEPCO on August 16.

TEPCO's Matsumoto emphasized that the death was a private matter, and TEPCO had no intention of investigating it further now that the doctor denied any relationship between the death and the work at Fukushima I.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

If someone was going to die of acute radiation poisoning (which is what I am thinking this post is suggesting), wouldn't he have external signs first, like the workers at Chernobyl? Hair falling out, bleeding from orifices, that sort of thing? If that had happened I am sure there would be lots of tweets about that, that one of their coworkers' hair was coming out in clumps or something, since we know that they all sleep together and that would be extremely difficult to hide (and the worker himself would have no motivation or reason to hide it).

Then again, it doesn't make sense that his WBC was 'normal' before working there, and then he just up and died a week or two later. I mean, leukemia is characterized most famously by extremely high WBC counts, right?

The only thing I can think of is that he got someone else to take the pre-employment blood test for him.

Looking forward to hearing other people's thoughts on this case.

Anonymous said...

5 mSv in a week means 29uSv/h. That's... twice what you would get just standing around in Futaba, Namie for a week in August.
http://www.mext.go.jp/component/a_menu/other/detail/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/08/01/1308763_080110.pdf

Anonymous said...

"Exposure to a single large dose of ionizing radiation, such as the exposure of residents of Hiroshima to the atom bomb explosion of 1945, demonstrates the variation in the latent period between exposure to ionizing radiation and the occurrence of malignancies, as well as the relationship between malignancies and radiation dose. In general, there is an inverse relationship between exposure dose and latent period—a high dose generally results in a short latent period, while a low dose means long latency. Leukemia follows exposure to ionizing radiation with an average latency of about five years, while some other malignancies, such as bone cancer, may have a latent period of twenty or more years."

http://www.enotes.com/public-health-encyclopedia/latent-period

Steveo said...

hey guys and gals, this UK paper did an article on why Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl, and then an army of pro-nuclear trolls invaded, check it out.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/why-the-fukushima-disaster-is-worse-than-chernobyl-2345542.html

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:38 - the exposure was 0.5 mSv (not 5 mSv).

Anonymous said...

@Steveo
Busby again, yada yada yada...

Anonymous said...

How about the 10 sieverts per hour measured outside between Reactors No. 1 and 2?
(Enenews, August 1st)

Anonymous said...

>TEPCO had no intention of investigating it further now that the doctor denied any relationship between the death and the work at Fukushima I.

Must've been a nice little earner for the good doctor.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
How about the 10 sieverts per hour measured outside between Reactors No. 1 and 2?"

10 Sv/h is instantly deadly to humans. Nobody stands around or works around that amount of radiation. You just keel over and die. This 10 Sv/h was detected from some object near a stack where we are to believe the geiger counters of workers in protective gear hit 10 Sv/h(max 10 Sv/h). Baloney. They would have had to wear thick lead suits to prevent imminent death. Anyone who knows how to use a geiger counter knows that if the thing hits 1 Sv/h and rising you'd better get the fuck outta there. I can't believe anyone is so dumb as to follow a radioactive source with their geiger counter until it hits 10 Sv/h.

I don't doubt the fact that they found a piece of something emitting that much radiation, just the way they say workers found it. The area is now supposedly "off limits" to any carbon based beings.

Kyotoresident said...

It seems too soon to be caused by Fukushima. Leukemia deaths started 2 years about Chernobyl.
Tepco will probably get the benefit of the doubt from the public but if there are any more cases..

nika said...

no one has ever "survived" any exposure above 30 sieverts. If exposed to enough - you can simply fall down (CNS is severely compromised at high levels of exposure) and you die without ever getting to organ failure let alone barfing and hair loss.

If you are interested in understanding fukushima it is important that you delve into what is known about the body's reaction to exposure to ionizing radiation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acute_radiation_syndrome

Anonymous said...

The radiation deaths that occured from the Tokaimura incident may show some insight on how TEPCO is dealing with severely over-exposed workers. Especially the issue of the first death from over-exposure.

At Tokaimura two men died from massive exposure of radiation.

Mr. Hisashi Ouchi was exposed to 17 sieverts of radiation, and Mr. Masato Shinohara was exposed to 10 sieverts of radiation. Mr. Ouchi lived for 83 days and Mr. Shinohara lived for seven months. When you see the pictures of what these poor men looked like and had become (not for the faint at heart), you quickly realize that extending their lives was to prevent negative PR, and a perverse desire for knowledge of how long can a human survive massive radiation exposure. Very much like the mentality of Unit 731. NHK made a documentary about Ouchi, called "Slow Death."

Aimelle said...

Thanks for the information ano 7:59!
This video "Slow Death" is avalaible in german language here:
http://videos.arte.tv/fr/videos/tokaimura_1999_lehrstueck_ohne_folgen-3992712.html
Does somebody have the link in english?
(it's not avalaible in french)

Anonymous said...

Symptoms of acute radiation (dose received within one day):

0 – 0.25 Sv (0 – 250 mSv): None

0.25 – 1 Sv (250 – 1000 mSv): Some people feel nausea and loss of appetite; bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen damaged.

1 – 3 Sv (1000 – 3000 mSv): Mild to severe nausea, loss of appetite, infection; more severe bone marrow, lymph node, spleen damage; recovery probable, not assured.

3 – 6 Sv (3000 – 6000 mSv): Severe nausea, loss of appetite; hemorrhaging, infection, diarrhea, peeling of skin, sterility; death if untreated.

6 – 10 Sv (6000 – 10000 mSv): Above symptoms plus central nervous system impairment; death expected.

Above 10 Sv (10000 mSv): Incapacitation and death.

Viola said...

I personally don't believe the leukaemia is caused by working at Fukushima. The time span is too short. But as the 1st comment said: would anybody be completely fine during health-checks and die 2 weeks later by leukaemia?
The German Cancer Research Center tells acute leukemia can indeed be deadly within several weeks, but the desease comes along with several symptoms like fever, or nosebleeding, or infections etc. that can't be ignored.
http://www.krebsinformationsdienst.de/tumorarten/leukaemien/symptome.php (sorry, german only)
They also say that in 60 to 80% of acute cases, a remission takes place after a chemotherapy, but 50 t0 80% will suffer a relapse.

For me, the big questions would rather be: why did nobody care about the symptoms and told this man to undergo more detailed examinations? How could he be employed when he must have had at least some symptoms? Is TEPCO (or the subcontractor) so short of people that they have to take everybody they can get? How do they care for their workers? Why don't they ask their workers where they used to work before, since this could be a quite important information about so. who's employed to work under potential harsh radiation circumstances...

Anonymous said...

hello, Philippe here,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14114555

I don't know if it is a hoax, the old BBC was quite reliable, until they gave totally into the WMD farce.

to arevamirpal::laprimavera

I make a living with my own work, allright, otherwise my euro and JPY are invested - no significant losses it is OK although I can't move right now - and anyway I don't actualy deal it myself - but I feel very strange : like to "long" an Industry of Death.
There is one, in fact, from long ago, but it is like there is a renewal, it makes me feel uneasy.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@phillpe, that is macabre. Treating humans as if they are industrial waste.

What little I can trade has been used to long precious metals (paper) and short the stock market, and it has worked fine. Long death industry? Let's see.. call option on triple-short financial ETF would be my favorite.

@viola and others, yes the time he worked at the plant was short (1week), but they are not saying where he was before. He could have been in Fukushima Prefecture all the while, as many workers at the plant come from. Fukushima I's stint was the last straw that triggered the disease. Who knows. If he was healthy before the work as TEPCO says, that's all the more troubling.

From the timeline, he worked for one week, fell ill, hospitalized and died at the hospital after one week.

There are other recent cases of acute leukemia that resulted in death among people who either remained in Fukushima or made very frequent visits to Fukushima.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the person who died from acute leukemia after rescuing animals inside the exclusion zone. Maybe these cases are something medical science hasn't proven a connection for yet. It's always a possibility.

Kyotoresident said...

Anyone got sources for other leukemia deaths?

Post a Comment