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Japan:2 workers showered with highly radioactive water

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Laaska News  August 31,2011

Tokyo Electric Power Company says 2 male workers at its troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were showered with highly radioactive water by mistake.

The accident occurred on Wednesday morning.
The two subcontracting workers were suddenly splashed with water leaking from a container whose valve was not shut. The container was part of the contaminated water processing system.

TEPCO says one of the 2 workers was found to be exposed to 0.16 millisievelts of radiation, which is higher than the safety limit, and was decontaminated.

The other, who was wearing a raincoat, was exposed to 0.14 millisievelts of radiation, a slightly smaller dose than the other man.

The utility says that the 2 workers did not complain of symptoms such as burns and they had no internal radiation exposure.

TEPCO is investigating how the accident occurred.

Last Sunday, 2 TEPCO workers at the plant were exposed to radiation by mistake while they were replacing parts of the contaminated water processing system, which is key to bringing the crippled reactors under control.


TEPCO presents plan to extract melted rods

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has announced a plan to extract melted nuclear fuel rods at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

TEPCO presented the 9-stage plan on Wednesday to an expert panel of the Atomic Energy Commission, which is discussing a process to decommission the plant’s reactors.

The first 3 stages of TEPCO’s plan are devoted to removing radioactive materials from the reactors’ buildings to repair containment vessels and stop water leaks.

The utility plans to then put water in the vessels and take pictures to determine the amount of nuclear fuel that has leaked from the reactors.

In the final stage, the company plans to fill the vessels with water and use robots to extract the rods.

Extraction of fuel rods that have leaked outside of reactors has never been performed at any nuclear plant.

TEPCO faces the tough challenges of coping with high levels of radiation and developing highly efficient robots.

Laaska News.