Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"A Place Where They [workers] Can Work Without Worries"



Yesterday I noticed that the emissions from Fukushima Daiichi were up despite lack of precipitation:



The screenshot above was taken 4/26/2017 00:02, just past midnight. Later in the day I saw TEPCO using the crane to drop a device into unit 1.

Today the emissions are worse. I can see from the Futaba intersection that it did rain a bit, which always makes the reactor buildings steam:



It certainly doesn't look too healthy for workers but the Asahi Shimbun reports that the company's goal is to create a place workers can labor without worry:
Tomoyuki Tachikawa (2017, April 22). Six years later, some workers at Fukushima nuclear plant say they can do without protective gear. The Asahi Shimbun, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/22/national/six-years-later-workers-fukushima-nuclear-plant-say-can-without-protective-gear/#.WQCmb9zdki8
....about 7,000 workers — 6,000 from construction, electronics and machinery companies and 1,000 from Tepco — work at the power station to deal with the aftermath of the meltdown and decommission the reactors.  “Our near-term goal is to create a place where they can work without worries,” said Daisuke Hirose, a spokesman for Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Co.
In order to create a place where workers can work without worries, some TEPCO officials suggest protective gear is no longer necessary, although the radiation level up on a hill that looks down at the reactors measures 150 microsieverts an hour:
On the hill, the radiation in the air was 150 microsieverts per hour, less than the amount received during a round-trip flight between Tokyo and New York. Tepco says there is no health hazard here as long as you wear masks and helmets and keep your stay short 

150 microsieverts an hour X 24 hours = 3,600 microsieverts a day X 365 days = 1,314,000 microsiverts a year ON A HILL overlooking reactors, or 1314 millisiverts when annual exposure in Japan prior to Fukushma was legally mandated at 1 millisivert.

The real problem of course isn't simply the gamma exposure from the high "background" radioactivity at the plant.

The real problem is the inhalation and ingestion of tiny radioactive elements - such as uranium, strontium, and cesium - that will be deposited in vital organs and bones, where they will decay and where their chemical toxicity will poison biological life.

Accordingly, those who wish to make workers comfortable, who wish to ease their worries with false reassurances about risk, are peddling an early and potentially protracted death.