Monday, March 26, 2012

NRC Transcript from 3/12/2011: 40 GE Engineers at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant, 4 Were Contaminated

Enformable (2/28/2012) has a link to the official transcript of NRC's meeting (audio file) on March 12, 2011. In the transcript, I found a mention of GE engineers who were at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant when the earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11, 2011.

From the official transcript of teleconferences at NRC on March 12, 2011 (pages 162 and 163):

MR. McDERMOTT: There is one other nugget of information, people might know people.

There were 40 individuals from GE that were actually asked, at this facility, taking part in the refueling of the three units. We understand that out of the 40 people, four were contaminated, but the State Department and GE are working to pull them back to Tokyo and to get them whatever assistance they need to get back to the States.

So the person interviewed by PBS the other day was a GE engineer.

There is no mention of how "four were contaminated" or when. This particular conference call seems to have been in the afternoon of March 12, 2011 in Eastern US Time, so it was after the explosion of Reactor 1.

The fuel had been already in the Reactor Pressure Vessels in Reactors 5 and 6 when the earthquake hit. Reactor 4 was still undergoing the core shroud replacement, and all the fuel bundles were in the Spent Fuel Pool.

I am very curious to know how and when they got contaminated, but the information was not in this particular transcript.


Anonymous said...

This is the second time in a few days that contamination of workers has come up in this blog with info originating from the NRC. Someone had posted a link in a comment a few articles back, which contained an email by NRC staff from 3/15/2011 according to which "... 5 individuals may have received fatal radiation doses during emergency actions."

I too am very interested in details about this, particularly since I don't recall any previous mention of such contamination. The 2 or 3 workers that stepped into highly radioactive water was all over the news, but not anything else?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, should have posted the link to the email I was talking about (no idea how credible the source is):

Atomfritz said...

I think they'll have signed an NDA.

@ anon
Weren't there in the BBC Horizons video some people talking about rushing into the hot reactor buildings without adequate dosimeters, putting themselves into unknown risk? Could these have been those who you mean?

Anonymous said...

@Atomfritz: I'm not familiar with the BBC Horizon video. The "only" workers with "serious" contamination that I have heard of were the ones covered in this (and many other) article(s):

However, this happened around March 24, whereas the NRC is talking about contaminated individuals on March 12 and/or 15.

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