Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fukushima: Sick Workers and Cracked Vessels. What’s true? - Ecocentric -

Each day at the stricken Fukushima power plant seems to bring a new piece of troubling news—today, reports surfaced that three workers at the Fukushima plant had been hospitalized after radiation levels reported at the plant spiked to "10,000 times above normal." There were also reports that the No. 3 reactor vessel had been damaged, which if true would result in a serious leak of radiation at the only reactor at the site that contains the especially-toxic MOX fuel. But like so much at Fukushima, reliable information is difficult to come by (more on that later). So consider this a summary of what we know for sure
• According to the IAEA, the three hospitalized workers were laying cable for the Unit 3 reactor when radioactivity was discovered on their feet and legs. An IAEA release states that the workers "were washed in the attempt to remove radioactivity, but since there was a possibility of Beta-ray burning of the skin, [the workers] were taken to the Fukushima University Hospital for examination and then transferred to Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences for further examination. They are expected to be monitored for around four days. It is thought that the workers ignored their dosimeters' alarm believing it to be to be false and continued working with their feet in contaminated water."

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