Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan exposing more workers to harmful radiation levels to offset nuclear disaster

Bloomberg reports a devestating situation at Fukushima:
The utility increased its workforce at the Fukushima Dai- Ichi plant to 322 yesterday from 180 on March 16 as it tried to douse water over exposed nuclear fuel rods to prevent melting and leaking lethal radiation.
...“They have an access time of 10 to 25 hours at the most,” Price, 60, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “At that rate, you are going to go through workers very fast.”

Workers are being ordered to leave the plant, located 135 miles (220 kilometers) north of Tokyo, before radiation dosages reach the maximum permissible level, said a spokesman for the utility who declined to give his name.
Radiation exposure levels are measured in millisieverts. Exposure totaling 100 millisieverts over a year is the lowest level at which any increase in cancer is evident, according to the World Nuclear Association in London. The cumulative maximum level for nuclear workers was increased to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts by Japan’s health ministry on March 15.
“Once they have reached that limit, they can’t go in the plant anymore,” Price said. “You shouldn’t be doing that sort of work ever again.”
One plant worker was exposed to 106.3 millisieverts, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said in a website posting yesterday.
See here for the latest on the USA health hazard

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