In-Focus Japan – Over 150 Fukushima workers cumulative exposure levels exceed 5 year limit – NISA orders investigation of fault zones under Monju and Mihama nuclear sites

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NISA orders re-examination of Monju and Mihama nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture

NISA and METI have acknowledged the possibility of active fault zones directly underneath the reactor buildings of multiple nuclear power plants after the March 11th earthquake.

Two more nuclear sites, Monju and Mihama both in Fukui Prefecture,  have been ordered to carry out further investigation of “crush zones”. The operators of the plants, Kansai Electric Power Company and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, had surveyed the sites before they applied for permission to build the plants.

Source: The Yomiuri

Source: JiJi Press

Source: NHK

In one year over 150 workers reached cumulative exposure levels which exceed 5 year upper limit

According to Japanese law, nuclear plant workers can be exposed to no more than 50 millisieverts of radiation per year and 100 millisieverts over the span of 5 years.

The labor ministry says that as of March 2012, just one year since the onset of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, 167 workers had left the plant with cumulative exposure levels of over 100 millisieverts.

During the spring months of April, May, and June, 79 workers were exposed to more than 20 millisieverts, and 215 others from 10 to 20 millisieverts.

University of Tokyo Professor Kazumitsu Nawata warns of the consequences of losing nuclear plant workers with necessary expertise. He says young workers must be trained due to the need for massive manpower to fully bring the Daiichi plant under control.

Source: NHK

Government officials to create guidelines for forest decontamination

The Japanese government had initially planned to restrict the clean-up effort to forests within 20 meters of community areas and campsites.  This decision however was hotly contested by municipal authorities, who called for a wider decontamination zone.

The local officials have urged the central government to acknowledge that forests are integral to the lives of local people, providing water and other needs.  Residents point out that forests make up about 70 percent of the prefecture, and excluding most of this area from the decontamination project will seriously affect ongoing reconstruction efforts in the region.

Source: NHK


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