Thursday, June 9, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: One Worker Fell Unconscious, 9 Workers Exceeded Allotted Radiation Level

Yomiuri Shinbun (12:35 PM JST 6/10/2011) reports that one worker at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant was found unconscious early in the morning in the dormitory, and was airlifted to a hospital in Iwaki City.

At least they now have a helicopter that carries workers, not just politicians and TEPCO executives.

According to Asahi Shinbun, the worker in his 40s from a TEPCO affiliate company was spraying the special resin to hold down the radioactive materials on the debris and on the ground the previous day.

Another Yomiuri news says 3 workers who entered the Reactor 3 reactor building exceeded the allotted radiation limit (5 millisievert) for their work on June 9. The radiation suffered by the workers was between 5.88 and 7.96 millisieverts. No information on how long they worked inside the building. No effect on health, of course.


Anonymous said...

Not related comment but ENE news homepage is down.

Anonymous said...

So this one guy just didn't wake up in the morning? Damn...

netudiant said...

The workers are sometimes seen live on the TEPCO videocam.
They are working swathed in Tyvek suits and with air filter face masks, unable to eat or drink during their shift. Heat stroke and similar accidents seem increasingly inevitable as the work goes into the summer.
It is not clear to me why the worker gear does not have a built in water supply. Bikers and hikers use hydration packs, a water carrier backpack accessible via a soft straw. This would fit under the Tyvek work clothes, at least for the workers not needing to carry breathing gear.

Nancy said...

This is what they need to do for the workers at the power plant. There is no excuse for not getting them proper gear by now.

Anonymous said...

the world prays and watchs this tragedy unfold. all our courage is with the technicians and other couragous workers who risk their lives to save the planet. i stand on guard for those people who are risking their lives to stop this disaster. the japanese people need more help. they need to ask for even more assistance. they can't fix this alone.

Bruce Hayden said...

I noticed the gear issues from the beginning. One guy had on a raincoat jacket so thin that you could see through it. Some had tyvek and if I remember correctly some had just the paper respirators. Then I read that most of these guys were from a temp service and made about $125 a day. And were expected to provide their own gear!

I spent a year of ten hour days tearing down a copper smelter. I cut contaminated steel with a torch and wrapped six foot diameter pipe to be taken to the hazardous waste dump. We wore tyvek taped at the wrists and ankles and a full face respirator. We were breathing lead, arsenic, cadmium, selenium and a few other metals and all the wonderful compounds these metals form. For a weeks we were required to change our tyvek every two hours and shower before going home. This job is probably a big part of the reason I am sick and cannot work now-fourteen years later.

I have a feeling that if I were to see the Japanese operation up close I would be appalled.
It seems that human life means nothing to these
greedy vultures. Throw-away people. A millenniums old concept.

Anonymous said...

The first photo I saw of the workers on Kyodo news featured two people in TYVEC suits seated in a large truck cab. Both workers had placed the black straps of their repirators (face masks) over the top of the fabric of the TYVEC suit hoods (instead of under the hood of the suit). A radiation technician said that this error can result in terrible consequences, including death, based on where the workers are going and what they are being exposed to. The straps of the face mask, and the entire mask itself, must fit flush against the face. Placing the straps on over the TYVEC pulls the mask up and off the skin a little, allowing workers to breath contaminated air. The rad tech guessed that the workers in the truck were temporary and had not been trained how to wear a face mask properly. I have seen this mistake in many Fukushima photos - this is needless and extremely dangerous. WHY can't someone at Fukushima see to it that those people fortunate enough to have correct equipment are trained how to put it on? Surely these workers walk around other more experienced workers - why isn't anyone responsible for checking the face masks and suits before workers leave the dressing area?

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Proper hydration is a challenge in highly contaminated radiation environments especially under emergency conditions. Eating, drinking and smoking are Verboten in the presence of ionizing radiation contamination in every reputable radiation bearing facility on the planet. I've been to parts of the Hanford reserve as a private consultant where you needed to go to a special "lunch break" trailer if you wanted to smoke, eat or drink. Now mind you we weren't required to wear anything more than paper shoes and chaps over our street clothes in this area because the contamination was restricted to the ground and was supposed to be stabilized. When I asked the site supervisor about inhalation hazards from resuspension (kicked up dust, wind) he said, "don't kick up any dust and it will be fine the winds are light today". Needless to say I wanted a respirator so we had to schlep over to the break trailer to get one for me. He had one but he left it in the truck during our survey. I didn't wear mine but I wanted it handy if the wind picked up.

A semi-public place where you'll come across this safety restriction is the Trinity A-bomb test site. They sell food there but they still restrict eating it at ground zero 66 years later.

Any modifications to allow at will hydration for the Fuku 50 would needs to be thoroughly monitored to insure it doesn't facilitate internal exposure.

This is part of the reason you generally don't see HAZMAT suits with provisions for drinking (or eating) outside of the military and those suits are still very uncomfortable. Technicians rarely need to "live" in their suits in adverse conditions if they do they wear a level "A" environmentally controlled fully encapsulated suit on an environmental control tether ( $$$). This approach isn't practical for operations like Fukushima because Bio-Robots are cheap and TEPCO/JGOV still have a bottomline.

The US Navy's Small Business Innovation Research department (SBIR) is asking for proposals for a mobile Protective Suit Environmental Control System for CBRN operations but these systems look like they are years from fruition.

"The creation and application of a lightweight, innovative cooling and dehumidification system for use with MOPP Level 4, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), HAZMAT and other unventilated personal protective suits is needed to cool the user while on the go".

"No method of adequately cooling and dehumidifying on the move war fighters in encapsulation suits currently exists. No prior R&D efforts to reduce both heat AND humidity in encapsulation suits was located by the author in an extensive literature search and interviews with USMC personnel in the CBRN operating environment. An innovative means of transferring heat and humidity from the microenvironment of the encapsulation suit to the ambient environment of the suit must be found. To do so will require innovations in materials technology, and the creation of new and better laminates and wicking agents. No suitable cooling or dehumidification products currently exist. Highly innovative applications of basic heat and humidity transfer principles will have to be utilized to create new refrigeration/dehumidification schemes and systems. No scalable refrigeration/dehumidification/heat and moisture transfer technologies currently exist to create the desired device. Indeed significant innovative technology advancements and applications will be required to create the desired system."

doitujin said...

anom said:
"black straps of their respirators (face masks) over the top of the fabric of the TYVEC suit hoods (instead of under the hood of the suit)."

does maybe anyone currently have a link available with a fukushima picture where the correct and the wrong way can be seen clearly?

this is so terribly to read... especially, as the inner exposure has already become such an unknown danger to the workers as an unknown, high number seems to have become exposed already in the very early stages of the disaster...... those officials can't claim these workers are better treated than the liquidators because of their 250mSv restrictions, when after all, everything is so unprofessional and nobody cares at all. and the workers who come from subcontractors, with absolutely no experience in this field of work, will have to trust and believe what they are told about the safety measures.
and the heat, well, as many safety clothes are called disposable in the newspapers all the time, i wonder how they are supposed to get enough of those for some thousands of workers ready reslly, really fast. there are already very hot and humid days now here in japan, and normal people are wearing light summer fashion and still sweating and complaining about the heat... i don't want to imagine.

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