Thursday, February 28, 2013

Another #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Worker Dies, Off Site, Cumulative Radiation Exposure of 25 Millisieverts; TEPCO Says It Cannot Reveal the Cause of Death Yet

Back in the land of abundant rice (a la PM Abe), a worker in his fifties died after having fallen ill at a stockyard in Hirono-machi (that's where J-Village, used as the staging area for the work at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, is located) in Fukushima Prefecture. He had been working at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant since June 2011, and most recently he was working on the prep work for the Reactor 3 building cover.

I think it is just lunacy to force workers to be anywhere near Reactor 3, but that's what the Japanese government and TEPCO have been doing to alleviate fears, basically, from so-called experts that Reactor 3 is in danger (along with Reactor 4) and to make them look as if they were doing something.

The worker's cumulative radiation exposure since June 2011 was 25 millisieverts, which NHK tries to characterize it as "low".

From NHK News (3/1/2013):


A worker in his 50s who had been working at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant was taken to hospital after he complained he wasn't feeling well, but he died in the evening of February 27.


TEPCO says they cannot disclose the cause of death because they haven't seen the medical certificate.


According to TEPCO, past 9AM on February 25, a worker in his 50s who had been doing the preparation work in the Reactor 3 building to install the cover over the reactor building at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant fell ill in the stockyard of the company he worked for in Hirono-machi in Fukushima Prefecture. At one point, he was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, and was taken to a hospital in Iwaki City.


Later at 11:30PM on February 27, the company notified TEPCO that the worker had died.


The worker had been working at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant since June of 2011. His cumulative radiation exposure was 25 millisieverts, lower than the annual limit of 50 millisieverts for radiation workers in the normal time.


TEPCO says they cannot disclose the cause of death because they haven't seen the medical certificate.


At Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, five workers have died so far from myocardial infarction (or heart attack) and other causes since the start of the accident.

The 50 millisieverts per year limit for radiation workers is rarely reached in normal condition, but NHK wouldn't volunteer that kind of information. Independent journalist Ryuichi Kino tweeted from TEPCO's press conference that the worker never regained consciousness.

Before the Fukushima accident, the natural radiation exposure in Japan was about 1.5 millisievert per year, including both internal exposure (radon inhalation, radioactive potassium from food) and external exposure (from cosmic rays, earth).

From TEPCO's press release on 2/28/2013 (pretty much the same as NHK News):

-At around 9:20 AM on February 25, at the material storage of cooperative company in Hirono Town, Fukushima Prefecture, a cooperative company worker who was engaged in the preparation for cover installation on Unit 3 Reactor Building reported being sick. The worker was transported to the medical clinic in J-Village. As cardiopulmonary arrest was confirmed at the clinic, an ambulance was called at 9:35 AM. After cardiac massage was performed, the worker's pulse was recovered at 9:54 AM. At 10:10 AM, the worker was transported to Iwaki Kyoritsu Hospital by ambulance. Later, we received an announcement from the main contractor that he was pronounced dead by a doctor at 11:32 PM on February 27.

At least these days they can call the ambulance, and the ambulance can get to the hospital quickly. It took 2 hours to transfer the very first worker who suffered a heart attack from the plant to the hospital in Iwaki City, about 48 kilometers from the plant.


Anonymous said...

As many more workers at Fukushima will go down the same way, the more workers will realize that it's better to leave Fukushima.
Expect in 2 - 3 more year that no one wants to work over there. 'Good' that Abe is trying hard to get a new law passed that Japanese more or less will became slaves of their goverment. The Chinese fight over those stupid island is just a diversion, to get that law thru. They do not go to war for that. You go to war to get economical benefit out of it and to start a fight with China will do the oppostite.

Guess what is going to happen when the government have 'the right' to send anybody to Fukushima because of the new law.

Time to move, I would say.

Anonymous said...

There have been more than 20 thousand guys working there for the last two years. Some will die like in any other job, that's just statistics.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but popular internet sites insist that not a single person has come to harm from Fukushima or any other nuclear accident, and so we are all fearmongers who blow things out of proportion!


Anonymous said...

@1:40 exactly, we would like to know whether or not it is statistics.
Had them been employed as prime minister or managing director no one would suspect radioactivity to be a possible cause of their deaths but since they were working in a contaminated environment...

Anonymous said...

@ 1:40, only a fool believes statistics. Do you know what the most dangerous place in your house is?
Your bed, most people dye there.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I think I've seen somewhere the comparison of deaths at Fukushima I Nuke Plant to the deaths as they were building Kurobe Dam. I'll go look again, but number of Fukushima's deaths was not like in any other job.

Anonymous said...

Uh...anon at 6:43AM, popular internet sites in English have been screaming everyone will suffer from Fukushima, people are dying off and Unit 4 is collapsing. I don't know where you have been.

Anonymous said...

@10:14 what do you think it will happen if another degree 6 earthquake hits Fuku 1?

What do you know about the amount of inventory released by Fuku 1? Only Tepco estimates I suppose.

How many people do you believe died or got sick in Chernobyl? Depending on whom you ask numbers vary wildly (but do not ask too much because sometimes in Russia the use a machine gun to answer journalists questions).

How much iodine did people absorb in Fukushima? Hard to say because they started measuring one year after the disaster.

Why are workers dying of heart attack? Last summer it was because it was too hot under the protection gear, what about now? Is anyone doing a proper autopsy?

How about the "Fukushima 50"? We are not even allowed to know their names.
How about the Fukushima Daiichi former chief, who got cancer?

Go to Sicily and ask about mafia: they will tell you "What? Come on, mafia does not exist!"


Anonymous said...

Lately I'm not seeing the classic asinine nuke shill spiel "nobody has died" and the ridiculous radioactive banana comparison like I used to. That was seriously one of the dumbest apologist PR moves the nuke industry ever launched and will go down in history as some of the most ridiculously exasperating dumbasssness--EVER! The more famous shills like George Monboit and Josef Oehmen made total fools of themselves.

But, what I am seeing is more and more seemingly disappointed anti-nuclear storytellers who exaggerate or fabricate all manner of stuff to the point of it being preposterous. It's, like, the situation at Fuku is not bad enough for them. Doom is not coming fast enough. Those in Japan that are innocently(more so than less so) caught up in TEPCO's nightmare are told in the vilest of terms to abandon everything--culture, family, friends, job,...etc...and RUN, RUN RUN because some asshole in a basement in Finland is typing a comment that advises so. One nut on Enenews even suggests Japanese people move to the part of Antarctica Japan has claimed. Others are convinced this is an "extinction level event", anytime now. Oh, and Unit 4, it has collapsed already but TEPCO is not releasing the pictures.

The nuclear power industry doesn't need guys like Monboit anymore, I think they've fast realized all they have to do is let the anti-nukes make fools of themselves instead of their own shills.

Anonymous said...

1:41 PM, I don't know if you should be taking the "Finnished" Troll as any kind of example of anything, besides the insanely funny.

Anonymous said...

Beppe, what's your point? The plant, along with northern Japan was hit by serious aftershocks in March and April 2011 after the reactors exploded, and at that time when it was most dangerous there was no so-called anti-nuclear experts aka activists sounding alarm about Unit 4. What about Fukushima 50? What about them that you're asking?

Inventory released can only be estimated or simulated, and that has been done by many institutions around the world already, not just by TEPCO.

I personally know people who have been spreading deliberately exaggerated stories. When I confront them, they readily admit they are exaggerating, and they admit they are withholding information that would make their exaggeration look very silly.

It's almost like they are suffering from virtual Munchhausen by proxy. They spread the dire story, see the uninformed public panic, and they are there to offer solace and worse, solutions.

Anonymous said...

laprimavera, don't waste your time with the kuroda dam article (this one maybe: just check the later updates)

The death rate on site in Fukushima so far is around 10 (5 deaths in two years for 25,000 workers). The death rate for construction in Japan seems to be around the same.

In the future there would be an increase in cancer, cataracts and so on, and it would be detectable if they actually make a proper lifetime study, but as bad as the conditions are up there, the main difference is the media attention the dead workers receive (as opposed to not making the news at all as it would be the case with a regular construction site.)

Ivan said...

(Sorry for my written English. It is getting better.)

Why people are so worried about plutonium contamination suddenly? You don't know plutonium has been existing since 1940s and global contamination started then? Fukushima release is just drop-in-bucket. Where is anti-nuclear activism all these decades? Fault of Japan? Or is fault of lack of concern by everyone. Spent fuel at #4 is worrying you? What about decades of stockpiling nuclear waste all over globe, most of it in alarming condition and storage? Inconsequential for moment?

Nuclear power industry keeps saying with every incident it is learning more about safety issue. Where is proof? How industry is fixing new problems revealed by Fukushima incident? What industry learned previously from Chernobyl incident, was this safety lesson applied to Fukushima, or anywhere?? How industry has advanced with clean up method since experience and lesson learned from Chernobyl? Duct tape?

Anonymous said...

@1:58 PM

As K. Vonnegut once said, "The insane, on occasion, are not without their charms."

Anonymous said...

K. Vonnegut was an idiot.

Anonymous said...

K. Vonnegut killed my father.

Anonymous said...

To the delight of nuclear apologists, cancers from nuclear fallout are obscure among other conditions fallout causes. But if you look at the leading causes of death past and present you will see cancer(s) making its way to the top. Don't know how they count genetic defects caused by fallout.

If incubation periods for cancers after some type of exposure to man-made nuclear fallout is 5-70 years then the death rate charts are beginning to reflect that now. Radionuclides exposure comes in many forms via foods, medical treatments, past bomb test fallout, etc.

Making NPP operations safe is becoming to expensive if not impossible to make a profit.

Let's see if the latest Daiichi victim needs a lead coffin.

Anonymous said...

If you actually check the data you mentioned you would see that the main factor for that increase in cancer is the decrease in deaths caused by heart disease (less people die of heart conditions so more people live long enough to die of cancer.)

And this: "If incubation periods for cancers after some type of exposure to man-made nuclear fallout is 5-70 years then the death rate charts are beginning to reflect that now," is a bit absurd. 1945 was 5 years ago? How are the death rates beginning to "reflect that now" if we are at the end of the incubation period you mentioned?

Agreed about NPP operations being a waste of money, though.

Anonymous said...

Ultraman, have you seen this?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon at 1:11AM, yes I have. I guess I tweeted that and how misleading the article was, in Japanese, I thought I wrote a post in English. I didn't. I may. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

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