Saturday, April 30, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: 2 Workers Exceeded 200 Milli-Sieverts

The number is the total of external and internal exposures, as of the end of March. The reason why TEPCO is now announcing? Well TEPCO didn't know, because they couldn't use the whole-body counters that measure the internal radiation at Fukushima I Nuke Power Plant.

Why couldn't the whole-body counters be used? (There are 4 of them at Fukushima I.)

Another Mainichi article (in Japanese, 4/30/2011) explains that there was no power at the plant until the end of March so the counters couldn't be used. By the time the power was finally restored, the air radiation level at the plant had gotton so high that the measurement was rendered irrelevant; even when the radiation was detected by the whole-body counter, they couldn't distinguish between the internal radiation exposure level and the environmental radiation level. TEPCO finally moved the workers who exceeded 100 milli-sieverts to its Iwaki-City facility and measured the internal radiation there, with the help of Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

If TEPCO was so disorganized and rattled with the on-going crisis at Fukushima I and wasn't paying enough attention for the radiation safety for the workers, wasn't it the government's responsibility to ensure the safety of the workers by arranging for the whole-body counters and doing the testing, much, much sooner?

(Oh I forgot. This is the government who said it was basically TEPCO's problem to find enough food, water and blanket for the workers, while it stood by, saying it regretted the situation.)

So it suddenly occurred to the government and TEPCO after 6 weeks that they could take the workers off-site and have them tested?

Just criminal.

Mainichi Shinbun reports the news, but no other major newspapers like Yomiuri or Asahi do. Or maybe they do but I can't readily find the news as they are busy with the British royal wedding.

From Mainichi Shinbun (4/30/2011; my translation, emphasis is mine):

 東京電力は30日、福島第1原発事故の復旧作業に当たっていた作業員2人が国の規制の限度に迫る200ミリシーベルトを超える被ばくをしたと公表 した。3月末時点の外部被ばくと内部被ばくを合計した。東電は「福島第1原発の計測機器(ホールボディーカウンター)が使えなかった」として内部被ばくの 測定が遅れたという。200ミリシーベルトを超える作業員の確認は初めて。

On April 30, TEPCO disclosed that two workers at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant have suffered the radiation exposure exceeding 200 milli-sieverts, approaching the [emergency] limit set by the national government [250 milli-sieverts/year]. The number is the total of both external and internal radiation exposure as of the end of March. According to TEPCO, "The whole-body counters at Fukushima I Nuke Plant could not be used", and they couldn't measure the internal radiation exposure. It is the first time that any worker has been found to have been exposed above 200 milli-sieverts.

 3月末までに100ミリシーベルトを超える外部被ばくをした21人について、優先的に内部被ばくを測定した。200ミリシーベルトを超えた作業員 は、3月24日に3号機のタービン建屋で電源復旧作業中に被ばくし、病院に搬送された3人の協力会社社員のうちの2人。最も被ばく線量が高かった作業員 は、外部被ばく201.8ミリシーベルト、内部被ばく39ミリシーベルトで、計240.8ミリシーベルトだった。現在、残る1人の作業員と共に同原発での 作業はしていない。

TEPCO measured the internal radiation exposure of the 21 workers whose external radiation exposure exceeded 100 milli-sieverts by the end of March. The two workers whose total radiation exposure exceeded 200 milli-sieverts are two of the three workers from TEPCO's affiliate companies who were irradiated in the Reactor 3 turbine building [in the highly radioactive water] on March 24 as they were performing the electrical work to restore the power and were sent to hospital. One of them suffered 201.8 milli-sieverts external exposure, and 39 milli-sierverts internal exposure, the total 240.8 milli-sieverts. The two workers no longer work at Fukushima I Nuke Plant.


Of 21 workers [who exceeded 100 milli-sieverts], 8 had 150 to 200 milli-sieverts, 11 had 100 to 150 milli-sieverts. [And 2 exceeded 200 milli-sieverts.]

 作業員(放射線業務従事者)の被ばく線量は、原子炉等規制法に基づく告示などで、5年間で100ミリシーベルト、1年間では50ミリシーベルトと 規定。緊急時には別途100ミリシーベルトを上限に被ばくが許容されるが、国は特例で福島第1原発の復旧に限り、250ミリシーベルトに引き上げている。 【奥山智己、八田浩輔】

By law that governs the nuclear materials, nuclear fuels and nuclear reactors, the radiation exposure level of the radiation workers (workers who work in the radiation environment) is set at 100 milli-sieverts cumulative over 5 years, with 50 milli-sieverts as maximum per year. In an emergency, the exposure level can be raised to 100 milli-sieverts, but the national government has raised this emergency limit to 250 milli-sieverts for the work related to Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.


Apolline said...

Hello, California !

Thanks for your news, it's already translated on my blog !

I just want to tell you it is important to write the value of radiation in millisievert "by hour". Many newspapers forget the mention "by hour". Naturalnews had noticed this mistake. I can't rediscover its post about it. I just tell you that for the credibility of your news.
A link about this :

Friendly and frenchy yours

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Thank you, Helios. I'm making doubly sure whether the radiation is about the strength of radiation per hour or the cumulative amount over time.

In the above article, it is about the cumulative amount that the workers have received since the start of the accident until end of March.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

As I said in an earlier post if the Japanese government was really concerned about knowing the extent of the contamination they would be giving the exposed population a full body gamma count. This would help categorize the extent and depth of the human contamination. It would also help determine what regions were the most affected. The only problem is most civilians probably don't want to know they are officially hibakusha and the government doesn't want to deal with the actual liability.

As for the plant contamination skewing the test results, anyone familiar with the operation of full body counters knows it is absolutely imperative to exclude external radiation sources. Any full body counters I've ever seen were installed in a heavily shielded enclosure to block as much background as possible. The counter technician had to know the airborne contamination would render and reading useless. No wonder the governments nuclear safety adviser resigned in protest yesterday.

And for our friend Helios here are two French articles that are supposed to outline the cozy relationship between WHO and the IAEA. Hopefully they have some useful information Helios can use.

I found these links in this article about Japanese nuclear contract workers.

Hélios said...

Thanksfor the comment from anonymous at 8:25 AM
Thanks for the links.

In France we have an association named "CRIIRAD", created after Tchernobyl. It is an independant association, far from others organisms not very credible.
It's the only site where we are sure of right informations about radioactivity values.

A link to Criirad :

I use also the following site for the "radioactive cloud" :;region=NH

I suppose you too.

Sorry for the numerous dead persons with tornadoes in US. In Europe, we need water. I live in Brittany, no water since two months.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

I just saw a story on NHK that said the two workers with the high doses were the guys who stepped into the radioactive water early in the disaster. You would have thought an accurate FBC would have been the first thing they did after they were taken to the hospital. I think it is becoming clear that TPTB don't want an accurate accounting of this disaster.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 Sez:

Hey look now Putin is giving Japan a rash of grief over how badly they handled the radiation disasters and for their poor nuclear site planning.

Maybe Putin should have fixed his problems.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 Sez:


Have you ever read a book called "Poisoned Reign
French nuclear colonialism in the Pacific"
by Bengt Danielsson and Marie-Thérèse Danielsson? It cover the nuclear weapons tests France did in the Pacific and their impact on the local population. It was originally printed under the title "Moruroa Mon Amour" but Poisoned Reign is supposed to be a updated version.

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