Japanese nuclear workers emerging as heroes

In General on March 17, 2011 at 3:34 AM

CTV.CA NEWS STAFF –  CTV – 16/03/2011 [LINK]

50 or 70 men are not enough at Fukushima if they can’t control the situation in the coming days and radiation keeps on flowing , so it’s pretty sure TEPCO is searching for replacements in its other nuclear power plants.




TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Company, has not provided any details about the men, so it’s not clear who they are. But nuclear power consultant Arnold Gundersen, a consultant who worked in American plants similar to Fukushima, says it’s  likely they include retirees and workers from unaffected plants who were called in to help.

He told The New York Times that plant managers “may also be asking for people to volunteer to receive additional exposure.”


The Ministry raised the maximum allowable exposure for nuclear workers to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts. It described the move as “unavoidable due to the circumstances.” Still, even at 250 mSv, that’s still below the level at which people would show symptoms of radiation poisoning.

Dr. Lew Pepper, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health who has studied the effects of radiation on nuclear weapons workers, notes that there’s only so much radiation that any one person can absorb.

“If they exceed a certain amount, they can’t go back in for a day or a week or longer,” he told The New York Times.

The workers are likely wearing full bodysuits and air packs to reduce the exposure. But Gundersen said some forms of radiation can penetrate any gear.


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