Monday, August 12, 2013

Latest from #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Workers Being Sprayed with Radioactive Mist

(UPDATE 3) TEPCO says it tested the water, and gamma nuclides, all-beta were NOT DETECTED. So how did 10 workers get contaminated? No one knows, but the contamination was not 10 Bq/cm2 but 19 Bq/cm2 on their heads and faces.


(UPDATE 2) Before the accident, TEPCO had its own water source to supply to the plant. If TEPCO is still using the same water, it is a river water. (Information from Fukushima Prefecture, H/T Dr. Moriguchi)

(UPDATE) According to NHK, the water comes from a dam about 10 kilometers west of the plant. No details as to how the water gets to the plant.


TEPCO's email alerts to the press today (August 12, 2013) are about a mysterious rise in radioactive levels in front of the Anti-Seismic Building and how it may have happened.

10 workers ended up with max 10 Bq/cm2 (square centimeter) of radioactive materials on their heads and faces, and will be checked by WBC.

How? They were doused with mist from water contaminated with radioactive materials. Why were they being doused with mist? To prevent heatstroke. How did the water get contaminated? That's what TEPCO is investigating right now.

The water used for the mist generator is also used in toilets in the Anti-Seismic Building, the headquarters for all the work being done at the plant.

First alert:


At 12:33PM today (August 12), an alarm went off from the continuous dust monitoring system installed in front of the Anti-Seismic Building, indicating radioactive density was high.


At 12:48PM, we instructed workers to put in masks in the areas where workers are no longer required to put on full-face (and half-face) masks. We are currently observing the continuous dust monitoring system and carrying out measurement using portable dust sampler. We will let you know as soon as we know more.

Second alert:


In order to prevent heatstroke, we've been spraying workers with water mist in front of the Anti-Seismic Building. Bodily contamination was found on 10 people who were waiting for the bus in front of the Anti-Seismic Building.


The cause of contamination may be the mist from the mist generator. We are conducting detailed investigation.


As of 1:25pm, the mist generator is stopped.

Third (latest) alert:


The water used in the Anti-Seismic Building and Reactors 5 and 6 (in toilets, etc.) comes from the same source as the water used in the mist generator which is likely to be the cause of contamination on the body. So we stopped the use of water in the toilets at 1:16PM, and notified the workers by the simultaneous broadcasting system.


At 1:40PM we closed off the master valve of the pipe that feeds water to the mist generator and to the Anti-Seismic Building and Reactors 5 and 6.


10 workers with bodily contamination have maximum 10 Bq/cm2 of contamination on their heads/faces. We have instructed them to undergo WBC.


We are conducting the nuclide analysis of the water in the mist generator, and will let you know the result as soon as possible.

No information as to WHERE the water source is located.


Anonymous said...

If Tepco doesn'ty give any information where the water source is located, i's probably they do not want you to know ( yet ).
They have been playing this game from the beginning and it usually means that it is something bad. We probably have to wait for that a year of two.
We nickname it the 'Tepco Factor'. Expect at least by factor 10 times worse as Tepco first announce.
The Tepco Factor can easily go up to 100 or more by the way.

Anonymous said...

Lord this just keeps getting worse and worse.

Anonymous said...

How's that restructured focus on safety working out for you, TEPCO?

Anonymous said...

What is worse than making radioactivity into an aerosol via misting?

Just what radionuclides are going to be found on the workers?

Can't wait to find out if their freshwater system was somehow cross-contaminated by mistake or by a leak. If they are stirring up contaminated construction dust, that would stick to a wet forehead and have nothing to do with the freshwater system.

Anonymous said...

What about hand washing sinks in bathrooms?

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