Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant worker dies


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TEPCO said both cases were not attributable to radiation

TEPCO one believes you anymore...why? Because you lied!!!!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The discussion is waged on an unscientific level. If the dosimeters and Geiger counters reported a gamma exposure of 2 mSv that is really not a big deal. However, anybody assuming that safety standards are properly maintained at Fukushima Daiichi and that there is no significant amount of alpha emitters around is just plainly naive (or stupid or probably both).

If this guy incorporated alpha emitters (like plutonium in solution in tiny water droplets in wet air), then he had been on a certain downward path towards a painful death. Due to the fact that I know how carelessly many Japananese people treat their own safety and health, this is the most probable reason for his demise.

How on earth could anyone be so stupid to look at the gamma dose only? It enrages me as a nuclear physicist to read things like this! More clear indications of whitewashing and unprofessional handling of the accident!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I know a few doctors and nurses who are about to be very rich people if they can't find it in themselves to be whistleblowers. I wish I could see if the staff were wearing radiation gear when around this guy.

Lets hope that TEPCO waste a lot of money paying staff off and then the parents ask for an independent autopsy.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What about the missing 143 workers?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You would only die so quickly from radiation had he been exposed to a massive dose which wasn't the case because if he had, then even the doctors and nurses would not have been able to even touch him. Working in those suits and maska during the hot weather was very difficult, but he only worked for 3 hours a day so I guess he was in bad health before he started working there.

Anyone working at the power plant, for whatever reason, is a hero and should be remembered as such.

5 ( +5 / -1 )

possibly maybe not related to radiation exposure...gotta love those odds.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

the death was not necessarily related to radioactive leaks.

the cause of his death was being investigated.

Good. Glad to know TEPCO is covering its butt before any investigation. I guess they Have learned something.

Whenever you have employees dying on the job, shouldn't management take a look at what they were doing and, oh, I don't know, think about writing a manual to avoid those 'accidents'. How many TEPCO employees usually die in a six-month period?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“He had been exposed to a small amount of radiation. It is difficult to assume that radiation was a cause of his death,”

It's difficult to assume it's NOT radiation that's the cause (or part of it), and a lot more realistic to assume it was, as well.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hope the investigation into this mans demise is both thorough and totaly independant and the results are published. To his family and friends my condolences RIP

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Johannes Weber

"The discussion is waged on an unscientific level. If the dosimeters and Geiger counters reported a gamma exposure of 2 mSv that is really not a big deal. However, anybody assuming that safety standards are properly maintained at Fukushima Daiichi and that there is no significant amount of alpha emitters around is just plainly naive (or stupid or probably both).

If this guy incorporated alpha emitters (like plutonium in solution in tiny water droplets in wet air), then he had been on a certain downward path towards a painful death. Due to the fact that I know how carelessly many Japanese people treat their own safety and health, this is the most probable reason for his demise.

How on earth could anyone be so stupid to look at the gamma dose only? It enrages me as a nuclear physicist to read things like this! More clear indications of whitewashing and unprofessional handling of the accident!"


please keep us advised especially in the case of discussions by JT on Tokyo's levels of such exposure information etc.

again many thanks!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Working in a highly radioactive environment it is highly probable that a death will be caused by radiation at some point.

In such a case, could we expect Tepco to attribute the cause to acute radiation poisoning?

3 ( +3 / -0 )


The ONLY time face-masks don't make a proper seal is usually due to facial hair. Hence why firemen, etc are ordered to be clean-shaven as their life depends on it.

And, yes, clothing, etc don't protect against gamma radiation and yes keeping the alpha and beta readiation out is the major task of those suits.

30 seconds on google will tell you as much.

As for geiger counters as I said before unless you buy an expensive one it might not be properly calibrated, certified, etc and thus next to useless, ditto for all those Smartphone apps and add-ons that are popular now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It was Tepco that made the claim about the face masks..I am just saying that that is how they explained away previous radiation overexposure. I assume some of the workers are in pretty bad health generally considering the amount of 'mature' day labourers that were trucked in to do the job.I am surprised there haven't been more deaths to be honest...especially in that summer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Another worker "killed in the line of duty" by TEPCO.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the death was not necessarily related to radioactive leaks.

When will TEPCO ever issue a clear and congruent statement. I bet a team of lawyers issues all their (cover your ass) statements.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Some people can die that quickly from radiation. Since the radioactive atoms damage the body randomly and unpredictably, it is possible that, for example, Cesium could have found its way to his heart muscle and damaged it.

Also, if he had inhaled some plutonium particles, he could die very, very quickly. Plutonium is named after the God of the Dead, because only a few atoms are enough to kill a person.

Try to watch the movie "Chernobyl Heart." It describes the health effects of radioactive Cesium on young people in Bellarus, downwind from Chernobyl. It is a terrible tragedy there. I weep for the next generation of Japanese children.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

German wikipedia has a somewhat stricter opinion, which I translate as:

The radioactivity, which can cause cancer is by far more dangerous than the chemical effects. Even the inhalation of 40 nanograms of 239Pu is sufficient to reach the yearly activity inhalation limit for workers [Remark: German laws are stricter than American laws.] This amount is so tiny that plutonium's toxicity doesn't even come into effect. An amount of a few micrograms is presumably sufficient for certain development of cancer.

Before the cancers kick in, it should normally take a few years. Nevertheless, the internal dose is not registered with the usual dosimerers and Geiger counters. With the damaged fuel pools and fuel rods, which are scattered in pieces in the entire area, internal dose is almost unavoidable in my opinion. They should be able to detect this, if they really do research. The alpha emmiters should still remain in the tissue, which could be tested with an detector specialized for alpha radiation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bottom line: Any death of a worker at a TEPCO plant in Fukushima will be under intense scrutiny/suspicion for obvious historical reasons.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Scary but this is probably only the tip of the iceberg, only this death at Dai Ichi nuclear power plant??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ Zichi:

That is not very easy to say definitely. Wikipedia has a nice table here:

As You can see there, they always give an interval of radiation dose and a mortalitiy rate with and without care. And a time span. Thus, we'd be by between 1 and 6 Sv (Gy) of radiation dose that would lead to potential mortality in four to eight weeks. These radiation doses are not very hard to receive if the risk of inhalation of alpha emitters is prevalent. We don't know how much of the actual radioactive inventory actually got out in the various explosions.

Furthermore, we do not know much about this worker: did he get lectured correctly about the dangers and risks of radiation (otherwise it is death through voluntary negligence)? Did he and his supervisors enforce safety measures (in this case it might be involuntary negligence)? Did he maybe just incorporate once a large amount and started to wither away (which might be due to something TEPCO is only indirectly responsible)? Did he incorporate the radiation because of deliberate disregard for safety rules (which would relieve TEPCO of most of its responsibility in his case)? Did he have health problems before he started to work in Fukushima so that he shouldn't have gone into such an environment?

We don't know these answers. We don't know where to put the blame. But we know that TEPCO lied in the past. It it more probable that they lie now than that they tell the truth. We will probably never know the truth.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No no! It's not due to radiation! 3 deaths at one facility per year is normal! Pssh! Yeah, right. Stupid TEPCO.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"We can't disclose what was cited as the cause on his death certificate because it would amount to violation of privacy," a TEPCO spokesman said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First of all, I don't believe TEPCO about how much radiation this man was exposed to. Second, a 46 yr old man dies from leukemia and they don't think it has anything to do with his exposure to radiation,REALLY??? After all of the lies TEPCO has been telling, and that's the best they could come up with. I'm pretty sure that the protagonist in the book about the 1,000 cranes died from leukemia too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let me just say what everyone else is thinking: if a nuclear plant worker can die while just working at the plant for days, then for those that live further away where the contamination spread more diffusely, are risking a slower fate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What's the standard level of cesium for beaches?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The simple bottom line of nuclear power plants is that the safety can't be guaranteed. If a company has large as TEPCO, the 4th largest power company in the world, can't maintain state-of-the-art safety at a nuclear power plant, then it's equally difficult to believe that other power companies are more willing and more capable. All nuclear power plants remain a terrorist target. The pro-nuke supporters have jumped on the climate change bandwagon to prop up their arguments. There are other methods for dealing with greenhouse gases other than nuclear energy.

TEPCO was warned two years ago by the IAEA, about the lack of earthquake safety standards at the Fukushima power plant. It was also warned by the NISA, about the state of the pipes feeding coolant to the reactors which twisted and broke from the earthquake. In both cases, TEPCO failed to take any actions.

The Japanese 3/11 nuclear disaster has sent powerful shockwaves through the whole nuclear industry. This was never suppose to happen in a country as technologically advanced as Japan. This wasn't Soviet Russia.

More than one million people directly affected by the nuclear disaster. More than 2,000 sq km of contamination. The soil would fill more than 80 Tokyo Domes? Many hotspots of high radiation, including some areas of Tokyo. Radiation found in little children. Contamination of food supplies and a fear and mistrust of all foods being sold in the stores. More than 100,000 people who have lost their homes, communities, schools, business, employment. Plutonium with a half life of 24,000 years detected outside of the power plant. Contamination of the ocean which gives us fish for the table.

And pro-nuker's still insist that nuclear energy is the only viable and cost effective one, which will save the planet from climate change. They want more reactors, not less. Now we have to bail out a power company which has been making billions in profits, as well as overcharging, for the last 10 years. On that level, sounds just like what we did when we bailed out the banksters on Wall St.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

male worker, in his 60s, died of a heart attack in May and another, in his 40s, succumbed to acute leukemia in August. TEPCO said both cases were not attributable to radiation..............................

acute leukemia ? I would not rule out radiation as possible cause so fast.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just a thought, it may be that this guys demise was not related to the radiation he absorbed, but no doubt in the future we will be hearing about the demise of frontline workers who because they remained at their posts and did their duty they paid the ultimate price. Whilst they have done this and continue to do so the TEPCO executive remain safely beyond the realms of major contamination. If I am conidered a fool for regarding this guy who died and all others who cotinue in their endeavours to bring the reactors under control as heroes then so be it

2 ( +2 / -0 )

TEPCO said both cases were not attributable to radiation.

heatstroke, possibly. shame on you TEPCO.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tepco, oh Tepco who's going to believe you now?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is no relation between this case and radiation? Anyway It is the fact that the worker died due to the accident caused by TEPCO.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


if he died because of bad health then he would have dies wherever he had been working, so it wasn't related to the accident.

1 ( +3 / -2 )


you may be right. This case might come from the personal health condition. But I stil think that working at the plant with potential to be exposed to radioactive is completely different from working at the rest of plants. It certainly put too much stress on the worker, that would lead to this death.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi: "if he died because of bad health then he would have dies wherever he had been working, so it wasn't related to the accident."

Not the case at all. You said yourself that it's unlikely radiation but instead the conditions (ie. in a suit on hot days) that contributed to his illness. Those working conditions are a direct result of the accident, no? It's not like the same result would have been guaranteed if he had been working a surf-board rental shop on Oahu Island.

Point is that the company is immediately trying to discount that radiation played a part, but it may well have been a contributing factor. I'm quite sure the 'investigation' will find that radiation had nothing to do with it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


I agree with what you have stated except he only worked for 3 hours a day which would have reduced the heat problem. But as mentioned in another comment it must be very stressful for anyone working at the plant.

I suppose we can only expect TEPCO to state he didn't die from radiation, even if he had gone for a swim, to cool off, in one of the spent fuel pools? Maybe there's something positive, in that in 6 months only three workers have died, but how many will die 20 years down the road?

We never hear anymore about the famous "Fukushima 50".

Sadly, for his family, it will be better if he did die from radiation or an industrial accident, because they would receive workers compensation from the government, but if he died from bad health, they will receive nothing.

I would guess, that we will never know the real cause of his death?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Johannes Weber

How much radiation would kill a man in 138 hours?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can see the trend where people consider the whole thing a "national disgrace"---the less washed in public the better, thus the wholesale coverup, downplay or disinformation campaign, not only by public officials but also by private citizens (who is not, of course, direct victims of the disaster.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Three workers dead at a crumbled nuclear power plant and they are not related to radiation. I wonder what odds the bookmakers would give on that!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How about a violation of my rights as a human being living on this island? Come clean, TEPCO...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Like TEPCO would say, Yeah this worker was standing in a Hotspot near the plant while smoking a cigarette two weeks ago and he got a lethal dose in ten minutes so he died. may he RIP.

If this had happened I doubt if TEPCO would say so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TEPCO have started sprinkling "decontaminated water" around the land of the nuclear plant. It's being sprayed onto trees cut down to prevent fire. The water was originally in the basements of the turbine buildings. TEPCO have stated there are 17,000 tons of the water and it has removed salt and radioactive substances and that and levels of cesium is below the standard for beaches. TEPCO will spray about 100 tons per day on the 1.2 million sq meters of land at the plant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The science ministry's aerial monitoring of the capital and Kanagawa Prefecture found highly contaminated areas in northwest Tokyo. Mountain areas in the town of Okutama in NW Tokyo had the most contamination in the two prefectures with a reading of 100,000 to 300,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per square meter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mountain areas in the town of Okutama in NW Tokyo had the most contamination in the two prefectures with a reading of 100,000 to 300,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per square meter.

Mudslides from that area are going to be toxic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

on 239 refer to Linus Pauling, He stopped nuclear testing. in the atmosphere. I'm sure the poor man died from radiation, but like everything else in Japan they will sweep it under the rug. If this type of energy is all the nuclear engineers and nuclear physicist can give us they have to find a new job they are worthless in the modern world. The only other things the IDOTS have given us is the Atomic Bomb. We have to fire them all and let them go in and clean up the mess they made with a paper suit to protect themselves. They are the idiots that say paper will protect you or a piece of cotton.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

apparently some of the other workers got high doses of radiationing poisoning because the masks they had been provided with had gaps between the skin and were not making a proper seal.Also I watched Enson Inoue (the guy who was filmed pointing at the Tepco live camera it seems) on his video in the grounds of Fukuichi saying that he had a geiger counter inside on of the Tepco white suits and a geiger counter outside the suit and they both showed the same reading. I am probably mistaken but I thought that gamma rays could go through clothing and alpha rays couldn't? What protection do those suits offer then other than keeping out radioactive dust?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Was he a TEPCO employee or working for a subcontractor? The are many dodgy, possibly even yakuza related, subcontractors in this country that handle dangerous jobs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the death was not necessarily related to radioactive leaks.

but likely.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not mentioned it the six or maybe it was four? Self Defense members killed in one of the explosions?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It is difficult to assume that radiation was a cause of his death," she said.

Then he possibly died of the usual medical malpractice, which takes a toll on more life here every year than the nuclear disaster but we just don't understand or simply cannot prove it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When weighing between keeping one's own job and saving others' lives, one usually chooses the former. You need a third, neutral party to handle these things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seriously. The situation in Japan is ridiculous. The country don't have any natural mechanisms to protect against fraud and dishonesty. Where is the media? Where are the voice of people denouncing who is doing wrong things? Until when the society will keep being obedient, respecting everyone elses fault? In my opinion, freedom of expression and the right to speak without censorship and limitations, are what the japanese need. I lived in Japan for three years and I can guarantee: ordinary citizens dont have this right in Japan. Its a society full of rules and prejudices, formed mostly by ingenuos people. Japanese, open your eyes, you need to weak up, to have attitude!

0 ( +3 / -2 )

Johannes Weber

I always respect your expert opinion on these events. We are all fortunate to have you on this forum, and I would hope you'll continue even after you return home?

He had worked at the plant for 46 days for three hours a day. But we don't know the actual hours in a day he spent at the plant, like staying in the rest area? He was helping to install a decontamination water tank which is outside and away from the reactor buildings. We can assume he was at least wearing the protection worn by all the other workers.

If had died from absorbing alpha emitters like plutonium, what level would it take to kill a worker who had worked for only 138 hours? If he died in this way, would other workers not also died too? I think calculating the risk/chance must be difficult to have an accurate figure?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How on earth could anyone be so stupid to look at the gamma dose only?

They are not that stupid, but they have sufficient supply of human lives and even if all of them die human lives will still cost only the tiny percent of the dosimeters and protective gears if they should decide to buy a few ones.

They just don't care, there are more than 120 mill lives in Japan. They are spoiled for choices as of human resources.

Sounds nasty but the point is if you have two dosimeters and leave them in a dark room for one night you open the door next morning and you find the same two there. If you do the same with two humans, it takes only a few months and there will be three of them. They are poor, begging for job, that's the way businessmen think and save on dosimeters and protective gears and are not very obsessed with these gamma thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Facts about the toxicity of plutonium are controversial (this quotes wikipedia, so freely accessible for all):

Plutonium is more dangerous when inhaled than when ingested. The risk of lung cancer increases once the total radiation dose equivalent of inhaled plutonium exceeds 400 mSv. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the lifetime cancer risk from inhaling 5,000 plutonium particles, each about 3 microns wide, to be 1% over the background U.S. average. Ingestion or inhalation of large amounts may cause acute radiation poisoning and death; no human is known to have died because of inhaling or ingesting plutonium, and many people have measurable amounts of plutonium in their bodies. The "hot particle" theory in which a particle of plutonium dust radiates a localized spot of lung tissue has been tested and found false -- such particles are more mobile than originally thought and toxicity is not measurably increased due to particulate form. However, when inhaled, plutonium can pass into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, plutonium moves throughout the body and into the bones, liver, or other body organs. Plutonium that reaches body organs generally stays in the body for decades and continues to expose the surrounding tissue to radiation and thus may cause cancer. A commonly cited quote by Ralph Nader, states that a pound of plutonium dust spread into the atmosphere would be enough to kill 8 billion people. However, the math shows that one pound of plutonium could kill no more than 2 million people by inhalation. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas. Several populations of people who have been exposed to plutonium dust (e.g. people living down-wind of Nevada test sites, Hiroshima survivors, nuclear facility workers, and "terminally ill" patients injected with Pu in 1945-46 to study Pu metabolism) have been carefully followed and analyzed. These studies generally do not show especially high plutonium toxicity or plutonium-induced cancer results. "There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during the 1940's; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them." Plutonium has a metallic taste.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just standing on a unnoticed small hot spot too long could be sufficient. Remember, radiation dose decreases square to the distance. His feet could have been irradiated enough to make some cells turn malignant, while the dosimeter at the chest registers only marginal dose (if turned on).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Johannes Weber,

thank you. I think we can assume that it's more likely he didn't die from radiation, than he did.

I think with the massive steam and hydrogen explosion in reactor building 3, a large number of fuel rods from the spent pool was blown around the site and even further afield. I have seen HD photo's showing fuel rods in the debris. There are many hotspots with very high levels of radiation, like outside the South Admin Building and the 2nd floor of the No3 turbine building, the one with a huge hole in the roof from something from the explosion. I think most of the fuel rods, or at least a greater part of them in the No3 reactor had already melted down but the spent fuel pool was extremely damage by the explosions?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well this is no surprise hehe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

New safety rules for outdoor nuclear workers

Excerpt: Japan's health ministry will introduce safety guidelines to protect workers who clean up radioactive substances around the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Existing guidelines target only those working indoors at the plant.

Citizens groups had complained that the ministry was not doing enough to minimize the exposure of workers who engage in decontamination outdoors.

Is this a coincidence or what.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The total count of the workers killed by raditation we will never known Never be known!!!!!

Really sad, the stress this guy was going through must have been incredible. The men who go there everyday since the earthquake began are HEROES.

I hope they are not hiring terminally ill people with a few months left, temporary workers with no health insurance provided by Tepco or homeless people. I am wondering are they still hiring homeless people or people really desperate for money working over there.

I pray for the people being exposed everyday to the radiation. If I was the PM, the workers who are exposed to radation are exempt from paying taxes forever. But that's just me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can deny reality,…but you CAN NOT escape the consequences of a denied reality

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm afraid I don't accept the Wikipedia figures on Plutonium mortality. The information in Wikipedia has become the hostage of whatever industry group can hire the most people to plant disinformation.

I once spent a month trying to add information to the entry on Chernobyl. The European Union has done a study that concluded 1,000,000 people so far have died prematurely from cancers and other diseases such as Chernobyl Heart caused by the Chernobyl fallout. Within the hour that I posted it, pro-nuclear people had edited out. After a month of trying to put it back in, I gave up.

The nuclear industry is also not afraid to make bold lies in support of nuclear power. One of the most common is the idea of a "safe" threshold. One of the entries above mentions 400 milliseverts. The truth is that the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. has determined that there is NO safe dose. Every exposure causes additional death and disease.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He did not die of radiation, people do not die that quickly from such low doses. Please stop trying to instill fear in others by saying it was radiation.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This is twice the amount of radiation that you get from the sun everyday it's not enough to kill you.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

To be fair, and I hate TEPCO as much as the next man - acute leukaemia is not a particularly rare occurance in men around that age. I personally know of two men who had it, one who died from it.

HOWEVER - having said that neither of those two were working in a NPP shortly after a disaster, so while it could be a coincidence, its a pretty big one!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lemmings do as lemmings do. Poor guy. Getting very frustrating to hear no outrage from my counterparts and colleagues over any of this. Not even a "ho" or a "humm". Just odd.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Just because someone worked in a nuclear powerplant doesn't mean he died because of radiation. I knew someone who had to leave the military because of an injury, wasn't combat related, wasn't even related to his work, slipped and fell while shopping at the grocery store.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Jaapangal i don't know where do u get all those ideas for comment, it is kind of interesting i really look for your comments, that makes article more i agree he must have gone to "Pachinko "

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why am I not surprised that everyone is speculating wildly about how this poor worker died when no facts at all are known? I could have been radiation related, but it could have been heart related, or stress, or any number of other things. Maybe he's a heavy drinker or is in poor shape. It's stupid to speculate before any actual facts are known.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Any hint of yet another chance to demonize Tepco, and some people here get excited.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I bet he smoked a lot and played a lot of pachinko. Was a temp day worker for sure, lied to to get some cash. RIP fella

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

So everybody who dies from now on dies because of Tepco? That the kind of accounting that the Hiroshima government uses to calculate atomic bomb victims.... now apparently adopted by some here.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

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