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Japan:Plant workers fail to evacuate despite exposure

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 15,2011

At least 4 workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant failed to evacuate even though their radiation monitor indicated levels of beta rays exceeding the set limit.

The workers were replacing equipment in the plant’s wastewater processing system on Wednesday.

Their beta ray counter indicated levels above the evacuation benchmark of 5 millisieverts per hour, but the workers did not evacuate and continued repairs.

Beta rays can not easily penetrate the skin and the legal limit of exposure in case of emergency is 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

The 4 workers’ level of exposure is believed to have been 9.5 millisieverts at maximum, which poses no immediate health risks.

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, is looking into why the workers failed to leave despite hearing an alarm. It has also begun checking 17 other people who were working nearby for exposure to beta rays.

Late last month, 2 Tokyo Electric workers were exposed to high levels of beta rays. Another 2 workers were contaminated when they were accidentally sprayed with radioactive wastewater.

Laaska News.