national

Protective clothing no longer needed to walk near Fukushima plant

39 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
Login to comment

--"people wearing casual clothes and no dust masks walk under cherry trees in full bloom."

Sounds like a perfect place for Tepco executives' offices. And LDP headquarters.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

So essentially they are saying that they have built a combini nearby, and everything now appears normal.

I will not be strolling around near melted cores of nuclear reactors managed by liars who are chummy with the press and government.

And the 7-11 nearby isn't gunna change my mind either.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

This reads like Pravda or other state/sponsored media. Would love to see Kyodo do spot polls on the street, you know considering people here mask themselves before facing reality let alone dystopia.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

At the same time, they've also neutralized North Korea, reversed the birthrate, balanced the national budget, completed construction on the 2020 Olympic Village, enforced nonsmoking areas around the country, and have come to a solution to the US military bases in Okinawa that is both fair to the citizens and maintains security in the region.

Well done!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Must be that special kind of Japanese radiation.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Must be that special kind of Japanese radiation.

Lol! Best comment yet!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

bull how stupid do these people think the Japanese government think their citizens are why not run tours all over the plant

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Pravda indeed. Disgraceful lies and propaganda from Kyodo, doing the LDP and Big Nuclear's bidding.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japanese people aren't stupid they are playing the same nuclear energy is safe card with the cleanup. Truth of the matter is the radiation inside the plant is so high they can find a "robot" that last longer than 40 mins.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

On the hill, the radiation level in the air was 150 microsieverts per hour, less than the amount of radiation received during a round flight between Tokyo and New York. As long as people stand on the hill for 10 minutes with a helmet and a dust mask, there are no health effects, the operator said.

Guess someone didn't proof read the post. Guy's 150 micro sieverts per hour is a gross error because 0.150 would be too high? There are still too many areas with hotspots up to 10 microsieverts per hour.

The radiation level near the reactors is 1 sievert per hour, higher inside the buildings and even higher inside the reactors themselves.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I read an article similar to this on Facebook. If this is not fake news it is the closest thing to it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The error of 150 microsieverts per hour is in the original article and that would be 1314.87192 millisieverts per year. The maximum allowed in Fukushima is 20 milliseverts per year and for nuclear workers 50 milliseverts per year or maximum of 100 milliseverts over 5 years.

The nuclear plant is all being demolished and decommissioned and clear of debris so the dust levels on windy days would be high so workers should be wearing masks.

This is a PR job to show progress which has really been made and a very bad nuclear disaster can be dealt with even if it does cost the taxpayer ¥50 trillion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

zichi Today  11:22 am JST

Guess someone didn't proof read the post. Guy's 150 micro sieverts per hour is a gross error because 0.150 would be too high? 

Where is the error? .150μsv is about the radioactive exposure of eating a banana or living within 50 miles of a coal-burning power plant. It would be wonderful if the hill's exposure was that low, but I think that's unrealistic to expect of a nuclear power plant disaster and on the scales of exposure we're talking about, even 150μsv is not horrible. If you spend two years living in a stone, brick, or concrete building, you are getting about the same exposure. If you fly back to the US and back over spring break, you're getting double the exposure.

There are still too many areas with hotspots up to 10 microsieverts per hour.

That's about the average background radiation a person typically gets in a single day. So while a hot spot 24x the normal background radiation is definitely not a good thing, it's hardly a serious health risk.

https://www-tc.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/files/2011/03/radiation.png

The radiation level near the reactors is 1 sievert per hour, higher inside the buildings and even higher inside the reactors themselves.

Which is probably why no one is recommending you hold your cherry blossom viewing party inside the reactor. Though I be some Cherenkov glow would make a fantastic contrast to sakura pink.

> thepersoniamnow Today  07:04 am JST

So essentially they are saying that they have built a combini nearby, and everything now appears normal.

No, they're not saying that and the article spells out explicitly several ways that "everything" is definitely not normal. Let's not misrepresent a report of progress as a report of the job being finished just because you dislike the nuclear industry.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@katsu78

the original post shown above and elsewhere states the level is 150 microsieverts per hour which converts to 1314.87192 millisieverts per year.

At no time since 3/11 outside of the nuclear plant has the radiation level ever been that high anywhere any time. I guess you are not understanding the error in the article?

The article states 150 microsieverts per hour. I thought maybe the author meant 0.15?

0.15 microsieverts per hour would be 1.31487192 millisieverts per year. The maximum for Fukushima outside of the plant is 20 millisieverts per year or 2.28159105 microsieverts per hour. The radiation level set for the rest of Japan and which is the international standard too, is 1 millisieverts per year.

The original article also included a photo of a street they call "Cherry Tree St" because of the cherry trees but its 1.5 km from the reactor buildings, and there the workers can walk without facemasks. Inside the plant the workers still wear protective suits and facemasks, but the full mask is only needed near the reactor buildings.

Shown in this photo

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/n-fukushima-a-20170423-870x580.jpg

3 ( +5 / -2 )

At no time since 3/11 outside of the nuclear plant has the radiation level ever been that high anywhere any time.

My understanding is that the article refers to areas "within the facility". I.e. the fenced area of the nuclear plant. What is being reported is that conditions have improved for those working at the site. The 150 microsieverts per hour on "the hill" refers to a point 80 meters from the reactor building. The article is pretty clear that this location is still not safe for prolonged exposure (" As long as people stand on the hill for 10 minutes with a helmet and a dust mask"). It's perhaps a little unclear about the Tokyo to New York flight. I think it means an hour on the hill is the same exposure as a flight to New York. I'm not sure why the article is seen as propaganda. Is it hiding anything?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The dust mask I can understand, but why do you need a helmet to stand on the hill? There are no buildings around...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@albaleo

So what I actually question is the measurement of 150 microsieverts per hour. If the level is correct then no one without full protective clothing should be there. I'm guessing when it states "the hill" it means the normal land level. The area of reactors and turbine halls and dock area was original reduced to enable smaller water cooling pumps which is one reason the plant was flooded by the 3/11 tsunami.

The amount of radiation received Tokyo to New York: 0.55 mSv per 100 block hours. 150 micro sieverts per hour is much greater exposure.

"On the hill" is the power plant area beyond the reactors. Many workers are in that area and the main buildings and the water storage tanks. The majority of the daily workers are in this year working 10-15 hours per day.

from this photo you can see where the land was reduced and now where rises and what the article is calling “the hill” except its not a hill, it the original land height.

https://www.scmp.com/sites/default/files/2015/01/20/fukushima-labour_fil21_39679111.jpg

After the two-hour tour, a radiation dosimeter carried by a reporter showed she was exposed to only 40 microsieverts, less than the amount of radiation from a chest X-ray.

That would have been 20 microsieverts per hour. For the average worker at the plant working 2,000 hours in one year would be accumulated radiation exposure of 40,000 microsieverts or 40 millisieverts. The maximum allowed is 50 millisieverts per year and 100 millisieverts over 5 years. So at the rate of exposure the worker can no longer work at the plant after two and a half years.The single lifetime human dose should be 500 mSv (0.71 uSv/hour) to the maximum of 4000 mSv (5.7 uSv/hour).

But a photo in the original article shows the exposure for the reporters was 0.04 millisieverts and not 40 microsieverts. So I think the radiation exposure levels in the article are misquoted and higher than that they actually are.

The road with the cherry trees is about 1.5 km from the reactors but still within the plant area.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2017/04/c3bb932e8f53-feature-6-year-efforts-enable-walk-in-fukushima-nuclear-plant-in-casual-wear.html

2 ( +4 / -2 )

zichi Today  12:29 pm JST

the original post shown above and elsewhere states the level is 150 microsieverts per hour which converts to 1314.87192 millisieverts per year.

Given that no one is proposing anyone stay on that hill for a year, I don't see what point there is in converting units other than to make the numbers seem higher.

What matters with radiation is exposure. For example, a chest x-ray is about 20 μsv, but it lasts about a second. If we converted that exposure to a year-long duration, no doubt it would seem terrifying, but it would also be meaningless because no one is going to sit in front of an x-ray generator for a year.

They're saying that place has a radiation level of 150 μsv per hour, but are also saying people shouldn't stay there for longer than 10 minutes. So for people who go to the hill following directions, their exposure is only going to be 1/6 of 150 μsv, or 25 μsv - about the same exposure of that chest x-ray.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The amount of radiation received Tokyo to New York: 0.55 mSv per 100 block hours

I found a link with those figures. Interesting. The links below describe a 0.1 millisievert (100 microsieverts) and 150 microsievert exposure respectively on a Tokyo - New York flight. Why the differences?

http://www.traveller.com.au/flight-risk-how-much-radiation-do-planes-expose-you-to-1a54m

https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/13877/to-how-much-radiation-are-you-exposed-on-a-transcontinental-flight

But a photo in the original article shows the exposure for the reporters was 0.04 millisieverts and not 40 microsieverts.

I'm having trouble following, zichi. Are 0.04 millisieverts and 40 microsieverts not the same thing?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@katsu78 

> Given that no one is proposing anyone stay on that hill for a year, I don't see what point there is in converting units other than to make the numbers seem higher.

You don't understand that there is not an actual hill in the plant or even in the area of the plant and I provided you with a link to a photo to show you that, but you didn't look at it. Before building the plant the ground level was about 40m above sea level. General Electric of America which designed the plant suggested to TEPCO to lower the level of the land for the reactor and turbine buildings to sea level so that smaller cooling pumps could be installed. That was done but the rest of the plant land remained at 40 meters and that is the area referred to in the article as "the hill" but in fact there is no hill and that part of the plant is a working area which holds the main buildings and the storage tanks for the contaminated water.

So yes, the level of radiation within every area of the damaged plant needs to be known. I am saying that the 150 microsieverts per hour stated in the article is probably a mistake and probably too high. If its correct then workers in that area would be exposed to about 450 millisieverts in one working year. Normal hours + overwork = 3,000 x 150 microsieverts per hour would expose them to 450 millisieverts.

The radiation levels in most of the plant area is 10 microsieverts per hour or less. The area outside of the reactor buildings is more than 1 sievert per hour. Higher inside the buildings and higher in the reactors.

There are more than 1,000 workers, mostly contractors who have reached their exposure limits, even after 2-3 years and now are not allowed to work in any nuclear plant. I expect they’ll just use a different name? The disaster will eventually need more than 100,000 workers over the 50+ year period.

If you still think there is a hill at the plant or even near the plant I suggest you look at the photo I linked to or even just go on Google Earth and find out for yourself.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@abaleo

I'm having trouble following, zichi. Are 0.04 millisieverts and 40 microsieverts not the same thing?

Yes it is. My mistake but exposure to 40 microsieverts over 2 hours. On a plane journey you could be exposed to a total of 150 microsieverts on a long haul flight, but unfortunately the article is stating "on the hill", a really bad way to describe the plant, because there is no hill and states the radiation is 150 microsieverts per hour which I believe is probably a mistake and also too high.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A frozen underground wall has had only limited effects to prevent groundwater from flowing in the reactor and turbine buildings

Really? By the end of March the daily flow was less than 20 tons per day as compared to about 400 tons per day before the ice wall. A reduction to 5% sounds like a lot more than "limited effects".

If the level is correct then no one without full protective clothing should be there.

Radiation levels never required protective clothing, unless you consider glasses as clothing. Protective clothing is worn to keep radioactive particles off the individual not as some kind of protection from radiation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The cost of the nuclear disaster to date is more than ¥11 trillion and there needs to be an independent oversight body, to ensure the taxpayer is getting value for its money. Already there have been fraud cases involving billions. The cost of the icefall ¥35 billion/$300 million.

NRA, Japan’s nuclear watchdog, concluded on Dec. 26 that the wall has been ineffective in diverting the water away from the buildings. It urged TEPCO to tackle the problem with pumps not the ice wall.

In response, TEPCO at the meeting said that by next autumn, it will double its capacity to pump up groundwater from the current 800 tons a day.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

zichi Today  07:22 pm JST

You don't understand that there is not an actual hill in the plant or even in the area of the plant and I provided you with a link to a photo to show you that, but you didn't look at it.

Your photo is not really all that useful so long as we don't know precisely which location is "the hill" from the article that visitors are permitted to be at.

So yes, the level of radiation within every area of the damaged plant needs to be known.

You say that as though anyone in this thread has argued otherwise. No one has.

 I am saying that the 150 microsieverts per hour stated in the article is probably a mistake and probably too high. If its correct then workers in that area would be exposed to about 450 millisieverts in one working year. Normal hours + overwork = 3,000 x 150 microsieverts per hour would expose them to 450 millisieverts.

If their work involves standing in that exact spot for 3000 hours a year, that would be alarming. Nothing in this article suggests however that it is the job of any plant worker to do nothing but stand on a hill in a mask and a helmet all year. Even with as ludicrously comic-book evil as people like to portray TEPCO, I think we all agree it's likely that they don't hire people to do nothing more than stand around and expose themselves (to radiation).

Nor does anything in this article suggest that that particular spot on the hill represents the general radioactive level at the plant overall.

I expect they’ll just use a different name?

If you have evidence this is happening by all means share it, but I think you'll agree that nuclear safety is an issue serious enough that no one should just make up information about it because it "feels right".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@katsu78 

“Your photo is not really all that useful so long as we don't know precisely which location is "the hill" from the article that visitors are permitted to be at.”

Part of the problem is you seem to know little about the history of the nuclear plant and the layout. So go back to the photo I linked to. The reactor buildings are going left to right, 1-4. The one on the right is the No1 reactor.To the right of that is raised ground which is the original level of the whole site. That is the place mentioned in the post. You can also visit the TEPCO website and view a live cam from the same position.

The only workers allowed below that level are essential workers because the radiation levels greatly increase.

If their work involves standing in that exact spot for 3000 hours a year, that would be alarming. “

But again you don’t understand, most of the workers are on the level of the raised ground and to the right of the photo, but out of view are the buildings were the workers have their rest and eat their food and change their clothes and use the toilet.

The radiation levels of the raised ground is lower than down by the reactor building which is why I have stated the level of 150 microsieverts per hour must be a mistake. The highest levels I’ve seen are 10-15 microsieverts per hour and some spaces in the plant are even lower.

You do realize that I am saying the radiation level mentioned in the post must be lower than that? You seem to have missed the important points I have stated. I didn’t attack TEPCO on this story and just stated the authors made an error of making the radiation higher than what it is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

zichi Apr. 23  10:23 pm JST

That is the place mentioned in the post. 

And your evidence for this claim is...?

You do realize that I am saying the radiation level mentioned in the post must be lower than that? 

I do, but you're doing a rather poor job of making your case for it. Instead of laying out your arguments in a rational way, you threw out some claims without any real evidence directly connected to it and then every time someone questions you on them you toss out personal attacks about how little they understand or how little they listen to you. It makes you seem like what you want is a fight.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As long as people stand on the hill for 10 minutes with a helmet and a dust mask, there are no health effects, the operator said.

Thanks for confirming that there are health effect if you stand there more than 10 minutes, definitely not the place you want to live, radiations are poisonous and can kill you based on the level you are exposed, recommended only for those who are enjoying to breath hot particles.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@zichi - I think you'll find it was the VP of TEPCO, Matsumoto, who ordered the reactors to be built lower, to reduce the need to pipe cooling water from sea level to the 25m high GE designed facility. In a meeting which was minuted, he state that the role of TEPCO was to make money from generating electricity, not to use it to pump water uphill.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have driven through the area many times. It is just no big deal, people.

I see a lot of people posting against bullying of people from Fukushima, but look at the posts above to see where the bullying comes from. Mostly, these dolts have never been to the Fukushima site, but they are just SURE that people will start dying any day now from some imagined menace. It is really awful and it ought to stop.

People in other areas of Japan might not know this, but radiation levels have been reported in local newspapers since late March, 2011. AT ANY TIME, somebody could have questioned those reports or investigated them, and frankly, a lot of people probably have, but no retraction has been forthcoming. The readings are accurate and scientifically valid. THey are the data of record. They show a rapid and regular reduction of radiation levels throughout the whole region. Believe the science. Or stick to your shaman ways and dubious hearsay.

The hysteria is entirely unrealistic and unsupported by official and scientific observations conducted through the area and reported by reputable sources from day 1. Once people understand that the nuclear hysteria is on a par with people who deny 9/11, Sandy Hook deniers, climate change deniers and other lowlife conspiracy theories, we can put this whole mess behind us and move on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If people want to know the radiation readings of the nuclear power site then I suggest a visit to the TEPCO website. There are what they call site surveys going back to 2011. The latest is Feb this year. The survey gives the levels at various places around the site. The reading in front of the No1 reactor, 80 meters from the place the reporters stood was 450 microsieverts per hour. The so called "place on the hill" was about 17-20 microsieverts per hour. I couldn't see any 150 microsieverts per hour reported in the article.

The place is used to show reporters the reactor buildings and even in recent photos they were wearing protective suits and face masks. Those photos too can be found on the Internet. Although the levels of radiation around the site have lowered mainly I think because the ground has been covered with thick steel plates there are still high levels.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What is with the helmet? Birds falling from the sky due to flying death from radiation?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NRA, Japan’s nuclear watchdog, concluded on Dec. 26 that the wall has been ineffective in diverting the water away from the buildings. It urged TEPCO to tackle the problem with pumps not the ice wall.

Well in December the NRA had still not allowed Tepco to actually complete the ice wall. By the end of March, AFTER the NRA allowed the ice wall to be completed, the flow was less than 20 tons a day, down from 400 tons a day prior to the wall being built. That doesn't sound ineffective to me. That is over 34 Million gallons less per year that has to be processed and stored.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The maximum allowed radiation exposure for nuclear plant workers is 20 mSv per year and 100 mSv over 5 years. Radiation level in post is 150 microsieverts per hour, or 0.150 millisieverts per hour.

Workers in those areas have a maximum time of 333 hours in one year or 666 hours over 5 years. 150 x 333 =49.5 millisieverts. Normal working hours 60 x 52 =3120 hours. Exposure to 150 microsieverts per hour would only allow a worker to work for less than 10% of the yearly hours.

allowing workers to wear regular uniforms at around 95 percent of the site.

The high radiation areas of the reactors and the surrounding area is more than 5% of the total plant area.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

On the hill, the radiation level in the air was 150 microsieverts per hour, less than the amount of radiation received during a round flight between Tokyo and New York. As long as people stand on the hill for 10 minutes with a helmet and a dust mask, there are no health effects, the operator said.

As has been discussed before it does seem that 150 microsieverts an hour is extremely high,so it must be an error.However, another obvious error is to take radiation readings not on the ground but in the air!!!! Not being avians,the readings should be given at ground level to have any true meaning....,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

However, another obvious error is to take radiation readings not on the ground but in the air!!!! Not being avians,the readings should be given at ground level to have any true meaning....,

Not being worms, the readings shouldn't be taken at ground level either. Typically general area readings are taken at waist level or about 1 meter above the gound.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

However, another obvious error is to take radiation readings not on the ground but in the air!!!! Not being avians,the readings should be given at ground level to have any true meaning....,

This has been the Japanese trick from day 1 to hide the real levels, caught many time on TV, they always pointed their (highly directional) scintillator detector either toward the sky or keep it horizontal on a stand, parallel to the ground to be sure to never pick what has been deposited.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Dom Palmer

As I walk on the ground, not above nor in the ground I propose that ground level is the place that radiation levels should be measured - you do see that, don't you?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It was fortunate that the disaster did not happen in (fill in the blank).

Is this unacceptable?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

You walk on the ground, meaning you are above it. And the worry with radiation is mostly its effect on your organs, hence why the exposure limits are lower for your torso and head than they are for your hands and feet. Thus the scientists and regulations propose that chest height, approximately one meter ABOVE the ground) is the place that radiation levels should be measured - you see that, right?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites