Two Irradiated Fukushima Workers Hospitalized With Beta Ray Injuries

Tyler Durden's picture

The heroic but sad story of the Fukushima Fifty may be about to take a turn for the tragic. Two of the three workers involved in the dead end procedure to repower the plant's blown up cooling systems have been rushed to the hospital following radiation induced injuries to their feet. In yet another startling example of the stupidity of TEPCO, the injuries appear to have resulted after irradiated water has seeped into the protective suits. In other words, these are supposedly safe, and completely isolated radiation suits... that are not even watertight? Once again, we wonder just how long will the Fukushima restoration procedure be handled by senior level executives who continue to demonstrate beyond a responable doubt they have no idea what they are doing, except of course to cavalierly risk the lives of 50 or so people (who will soon be far less) with each and every hairbrained idea. And the cherry on top is that the exposure to the two was "only" 180 millisieverts: well below the "new normal" baseline safe threshold which as readers will recall was raised for no reason but to mandate the continued risking of innocent lives from 100 to 250 millisieverts a week ago.

From Kyodo:

Two of three workers who were laying cable at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Thursday were exposed to high-level radiation and were hospitalized due to injuries to their feet, the nuclear safety agency and the plant operator said.

The three male workers were exposed to radiation amounting to 173 to 180 millisievert at around 12:10 p.m. while laying cable underground at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building. The two workers of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s affiliated firm had their feet under water while carrying out the work, according to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

The two, who were diagnosed as having sustained beta ray burn injuries at a Fukushima hospital, will later be sent to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture, the agency said.

TEPCO said radioactive water may have seeped through their radiation protective gear. The injuries are caused by direct exposure to beta rays, the utility added.

The level is lower than the maximum limit of 250 millisievert per year set by the health ministry for workers tackling the ongoing emergency at the Fukushima plant.

So far, one worker who was injured following a hydrogen explosion at the No. 3 reactor on March 14 was found to have been exposed to radiation amounting to over 150 millisievert.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
johnnymustardseed's picture

Again, I went to the dentist to day and had x rays so....

I'm turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so
Turning Japanese
I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so

Harlequin001's picture

My TV handset glows in the dark...

It was made in Japan...

johnQpublic's picture

WASHINGTON—Responding to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sought Thursday to reassure nervous Americans that U.S. reactors were 100 percent safe and posed absolutely no threat to the public health as long as no unforeseeable system failure or sudden accident were to occur. "With the advanced safeguards we have in place, the nuclear facilities in this country could never, ever become a danger like those in Japan, unless our generators malfunctioned in an unexpected yet catastrophic manner, causing the fuel rods to melt down," said NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko, insisting that nuclear power remained a clean, harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s. "When you consider all of our backup cooling processes, containment vessels, and contingency plans, you realize that, barring the fact that all of those safety measures could be wiped away in an instant by a natural disaster or electrical error, our reactors are indestructible." Jaczko added that U.S. nuclear power plants were also completely guarded against any and all terrorist attacks, except those no one could have predicted.

Harlequin001's picture

'our reactors are indestructible'

Sure they are. Let's just sit back for a moment and watch some indestructible Japanese ones self destruct shall we....

Bicycle Repairman's picture

" Jaczko added that U.S. nuclear power plants were also completely guarded against any and all terrorist attacks"

A full public discussion of this issue is overdue.

johnQpublic's picture

you guys do realize that entire paragraph is from the Onion news dont you?

its a joke....reread


harmless energy source that could only lead to disaster if events were to unfold in the exact same way they did in Japan, or in a number of other terrifying and totally plausible scenarios that have taken place since the 1950s.

Poundsand's picture

Can't imagine why you got junked except that the level of intelligence at the site has dropped significantly over the last year.  Tyler needs to up the difficulty level for his questions.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

My comment stands.  A thorough public review of security at these plants is long overdue.

Big Corked Boots's picture


WTF? - are these brave men truly expendable?

Harlequin001's picture

...with lead lined toe caps!

Your feet will never fit in those boots...

ToNYC's picture

Nano-Lead wetsuits is what we use in here to deal with Mother f(n) Nature and her bastard step-children's stupid tricks.


Mike2756's picture

It looked like they were just wearing Tyvek suits.

themosmitsos's picture

Tyler, I dont know man. I dont think, nor does it seem that any big-wig, top-tier **scientists** are involved in this decision making process. So I dont know that they're being handled by top-level executives, because that's supposed to include smarty-pantses, not just "suits"


Also, :(((((((

malikai's picture

180mSv isn't too bad. It will probably mean they get actual "radiation burn" on the exposed parts. Remember, the LD/50 for acute exposure is 5 Sv. So it was a serious, but probably not life threatoning dose, provided they didn't breathe or ingest the water. 

Caveat: This is assuming it was only beta that they were exposed to. In all likelyhood, however, if the water has any I131 in it, which is quite probable, they've probably gotten a good dose of gamma along with the beta. Their dosimeters will tell the story.

TaxSlave's picture

Apparently it's a Bad Thing when the dosage is concentrated to a small area of intimate contact -- like not wearing rubber boots when working in puddles.

malikai's picture

My suspicion is that the workers are given good equipment. However, they are clearly overburdened, overworked, and being in an extremely dangerous environment, they are far more likely to make mistakes. I know that when I "burn the midnight oil" I make loads of ridiculous silly mistakes which I often realize the next day after a good night's rest. Fortunately for me, the mistakes I make are in lines of code which causes no bodily harm. I wish these guys had my problems.

anonnn's picture

During routine reactor refuel outtages, the standard is 6 consecutive weeks of 72 hrs each...higher allowed if crisis. After those 6 weeks, must drop below 72 hrs.


FischerBlack's picture

You'd think, with the world watching, Japanese government and TEPCO officials would be going overboard on supplying these workers with the best of the best protective gear. When so much is out of your control, you make sure the things you can control are in hand firmly. What a joke.


MSimon's picture

TEPCO is not in charge. PETCO is. A simple mix up any sufficiently advanced dyslexic can make.

avonaltendorf's picture

Are you trying to be funny? Tokyo Electric Power Co = TEPCO

i-dog's picture

FFS ... does everyone have to add "sarcasm alert" to their posts for the kids at the back of the bus?

[edit: I take it from your tag that english is not your first language but, please, take a breath before you post].

LongSoupLine's picture

I have done "Level A" radiation remediation.  The foot protection involves 3-4 layers of foot protection alone.


Something sounds wrong.  Either they were NOT wearing appropriate levels of protection, or, the radiation levels in the liquids and environment were beyond personal protective levels (read: put head between legs and kiss...)

LeBalance's picture

I agree.  I do not think the workers would have splashed through puddles in their bare tootsies.  It might be surmised that the conditions are deadly and that the "injuries" being described are a COVER story and not what is actually happening.

LongSoupLine's picture



Care to provide us a "Cliff Notes" summary a'la English?

Aerows's picture

Essentially, there are rising radiation levels in the Northern Hemisphere, and there are contamination level numbers, but they are getting seized before they can be dessiminated to the public.  In other words, it's known how bad this is, but it's not being released.  I assume to prevent a panic.


I don't personally think the entire Northern Hemisphere is at risk - I think the problems, however, are far worse in Japan than they are letting on, and are doing everything they can to prevent panic and a mass exodus from Tokyo.

i-dog's picture

They also point out that the data that has been seized by the states (I assume they mean ALL european and north american states) has been paid for by the public and should be released to the public ... for the public's protection.

destiny's picture


Translation of the French doc. posted earlier.


Document CRIIRAD COMMUNIQUE CRIIRAD 23 mars 2011 - 17h COLERE ET INDIGNATION – VOLET N°1 / PROTEST AND INDIGNATION The figures related to contamination of the air do exist but are confiscated by our governments. The publication of data from CTBTO as well as nuclear structures in North America would have informed us very precisely on air quality that would have enabled us to measure in an efficient way the risks levels well before the contaminated air mass reached Europe. CRIIRAD is making an INTERNATIONAL call, inviting citizens, associations, scientists, elected individuals…from all over the countries to mobilize themselves with us in order to demand that all the results of the radioactive contaminated air that were obtained with Public funds be made readily available to the public and be used to protect civil society. No Interpretable data for North America ! More than 10 days after the first radioactive rejections, contaminated air masses have crossed countries as large as the United States and Canada, countries that have at their disposal highly sophisticated instruments in order to measure the volumic activity of each radioactive nuclei present in the air, and in any case the most harmful elements to public health. But, despite research conducted for several days now, CRIIRAD has found NO figure on air contamination. Are available at this point only results on dose flows or emission levels on beta and gamma radiation that do not allow to evaluate risks levels. It is not even possible to establish a relation between elevation values and the contaminated air mass flow. CRII RAD will address, to all embassies of both of these countries, official requests, to publish the results currently detained by nuclear installations whether they are civil or military. Precision to be noted to that effect is that the current IRSN markers located in Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Martinique and Guadeloupe do not measure the radioactive level (doses expressed in µSv/h). These results do not allow to measure risks. INTERNATIONAL BLACK OUT Looking for measuring stations between Japan and France, the CRIIRAD Laboratory has turned to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization network. (FYI : Volumic activity is expressed in Becquerel per m3 (Bq/m3). It indicated on the number of disintegrations that are produced by volume and time unit. A 15 Bq/m3 means that in a m3 of air, at each second, 15 radioactive atom kernels disintegrate with ionized radiation. This value decreases depending on the radioactive period of the nuclei. The period corresponds to the time at the end of which activity is divided by 2:8 days for iodine 131; 30 years for cesium 137 ; 2 years for cesium 134.) On the map showed in the french version of the document are displayed measuring stations throughout the world, recording different parameters in order to verify that NO underground nuclear test is being done in violation of the treaty dispositions (i.e. North Korea). They measure seismic data, Hydroacoustical data, infrasonic data and radionucleic data. Approximately 60 stations are equipped with radiologic laboratories (see map). They are able to measure minute levels of air contamination since one of their aims is precisely to measure contamination consecutive to atmospheric nuclear tests. These laboratories are equipped by systems of detection perfectly adapted to the identification and the quantification of radioactive products in contaminated air masses rejected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant. On Saturday March 19 2011, CRII RAD addressed a request to obtain results to Mrs. THUNBORG, in charge of Public Information at the OTICE. She answered on the following day that she was transferring our request to the division in charge of secure data ( “I have forwarded your request to the Division responsible for the Secure data. They will get back to you in regards to your inquiry. Best regards”, Annika THUNBORG, Spokesperson and Chief of Public Information, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), UN, Vienna, Austria.) . The following Monday, CRII RAD was still awaiting an answer and renewed its request insisting on the URGENCY of the situation and specifying that without a diligent answer on their part, CRII RAD would publicly denounce the situation. Mme THUNBORG advised us by return to contact the french authorities and, concerned to help, orientated us towards articles where Austrian, Swedish and German institutions that have access to results, had let filter some of them. We obtained thereby some results much too scarce and impossible to use and correlate in time and space. Two hours later a mail from Mr. SCOTTI (UN), indicating that “data collected by the network of stations from STP cannot be communicated to correspondents (Center for National Data) designated by States that had signed the TICE. In France, the institution where such data are communicated is the CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique ). The Director of the laboratory CRIIRAD addressed on the same day to the CEA : « I would appreciate if you could let the CRII RAD know how to access the data collected by the different stations of the OTICE network, in particular concerning the radionuclei (namely Cs137 and 131, Sr 90, rare gases, tritium, transuranians). This would allow us to determine previsions on impacts from the Fukushima Plant and to answer to the concerns of the French population. The next day, the answer received from the CEA : no data will be communicated. The International network for measures abide by confidentiality rules strictly defined by the member states of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization network . Data are only divulged to National contact points designated by each state and which analyze strictly within the scope of that treaty, which is detect any nuclear test that would have been conducted in violation of the engagements of the states having ratified the TICE. In France, it is again the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA), organization in charge of the development of civil and military nuclear activities. The answer further indicated that “following the accident in Fukushima, at the request of the member states, data on the radionucleid activity are transmitted to the IEAE and the World Health Organization (WHO). The teams in these two institutions in charge of all aspects for safety and radio protection can use the data in complement of those communicated by all the States in order to establish necessary evaluations to protect human life, susceptible to be concerned by the fall outs. NEITHER THE IAEA nor THE WHO have disclosed any of their results. The IAEA is actually in charge of PROMOTING Civil NUCLEAR ACTIVITY and the WHO which is technically in charge of public sanitation, has signed an agreement in 1959 stipulating that BOTH agencies will act jointly and in constant consultation. RESULT : Since 10 DAYS, the FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI plant continuously rejects radioactive products in the atmosphere, elements that are uncontrolled and un quantified. At the same time, Many stations dispersed all over the planet are measuring the radioactive levels in the air and follow step by step the evolution of the radioactivity in space and time.… BUT THEY ARE JEALOUSLY KEEPING DATA SECRET. Such situation is shocking in normal time, totally unacceptable in radiologic emergency time. More so unacceptable that the measure network is financed by PUBLIC FUNDS. States pledge up to 55 700 000 € to make these stations run and operated. The American citizens are breathing radioactive particles since MARCH 17 2011 rejected by the nuclear engines and irradiated combustible stocking pools of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. As First contributors of to the budget of the network, they will appreciate having strictly no data in exchange of their 12 million euro budget. A dupe market. To be noted that with a budget of 3 600 000 €, the French citizens are no better. CRIIRAD receives hundreds of calls from concerned and scared persons worrying for themselves, close ones and children. CRII RAD would like to properly inform them and if permitted reassure them, on solid bases, all its correspondents, in Normandy, Martinique or South Korea. CRII RAD invite all citizens, associations, scientists, elected persons, to mobilize together to obtain the breach to the secret on air contamination levels. A petition will be placed on line to collect signatures in France but everyone can relay the information and the mobilization abroad, to address authorities in their respective countries their protest on the situation.

spanish inquisition's picture

They are probably wading through a sandbox of pellets.

metastar's picture

CEOs would think twice it the rule of the sea were applied.

The captian goes down with the ship.

malikai's picture

I like where you're going with this. Perhaps we could use TEPCO executives as temperature suppressants for the spent fuel pools. Surely there must be enough of them available to adequately cool the pools. While we're at it, perhaps some Westinghouse executives would be suitable for temperature suppressers for the reactors.

You may have just solved this dilema.

Commander Cody's picture

Not a good idea.  They would be a good ignition source.  Too much methane.

Harlequin001's picture

At the very least they should be in their plush offices 9 till 5...

Ferrari's picture

Isn't this precisely the crux of the world's problems, summed up in "other people's money?" It obviously applies to our so-called banking system. Rather than receiving huge compensation through good times & bad, let Lloyd & friends finance the bailout. But it will never happen. It's all public risk, private gain throughout Western Civ.

h4rdware's picture

I am *fairly* sure this is connected with the footage I caught on last night's NHK loop (which seemed to be only shown once and not repeated?). Tried to record it but wasn't quick enough.

Something happened that caused alarms to go off, and workers to run for cover, described as hiding behind or below trucks. High radiation exposures (70mSv/h) were discussed by the newscaster over the footage. That's as much as I saw before it flipped back to earthquake news.


WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

It hit me like a gamma ray
Standing in a hurricane

I'm pulling out thorns
Smokestack lightning out my window
I want to know what I've lost today

Come on little gamma ray
Standing in a hurricane

Your body's bored
Like a refugee from a house that's burning
And the backwater's calling your name

Careless Whisper's picture

except of course to cavalierly risk the lives of 50 or so people

correction: risk the lives of 130 million people

gordengeko's picture

I don't think there is any question they are and have been lying to everyone about how dire the situation is there.  Tupac said it best...

"My only fear of death is coming back to this bitch reincarnated."

ZackAttack's picture

If it was an American company, they'd cut them all off from the group health plan and strongarm the future widows into signing an indemnification agreement.

TexDenim's picture

This is really the stuff of horror movies, and knowing the Japanese penchant for suppressing bad news, we are not going to hear much more about this. It's amazing that a nation that suffered the only civilian atomic bombing, and which is so earthquake prone, has embraced nuclear power so enthusiastically.

Kina's picture

I think we can take it as read that any official information has been polished up before it arrives at a doorstep.


Official data x 3 = truth.

E's picture

What happened to the story from the Mail that 5 workers were believed to be dead (quoted n the Fukushima Fifty story yesterday)?

SWRichmond's picture