Japan: Watchdog demands radiation inquiry



URGENT: Gov’t to designate new evacuation spots near Fukushima plant

TOKYO, June 16, Kyodo
From: AlJazeera
Japanese watchdog demands radiation inquiry
Nuclear watchdog wants probe into how two workers were exposed to twice legal level of radiation at tsunami-hit plant.
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2011 21:24

Japan’s nuclear safety officials have reprimanded the operator of the country’s crippled Fukushima nuclear and demanded an investigation into how two workers were exposed to radiation more than twice the legally
permitted level of radiation.

The government also ordered the Tokyo Electric Power Company [TEPCO] to reduce workers’ risks of heat-related illnesses as concerns grow about the health risks faced by the people toiling to get the the plant under control.

The two men with high radiation exposures worked at a central control room for two reactors when a tsunami struck on March 11 and the days that followed.

They are not showing immediate health problems but will need long-term monitoring for an increased risk of cancer, said the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, which examined the men.

Soon after the tsunami knocked out the plant’s power and cooling systems, the government raised the radiation limit for men to 250 millisieverts, from the standard 100 millisieverts, so workers could tackle the emergency.

The results of analyses showed the workers’ total doses were above 600 millisieverts.

Limit exceeded

The two men, one in his 30s and the other in his 40s, were confirmed last week as having exceeded that higher limit and were removed from working at the plant.
Fukushima: It’s much worse than you think
Scientific experts believe Japan’s nuclear disaster to be far worse than governments are revealing to the public.
Dahr Jamail Last Modified: 16 Jun 2011 12:50

“Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind,” Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

Japan’s 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.

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