TOKYO (majirox news) – Two workers at Fukushima Dai-ichi plant were hospitalized for overexposure to radiation when they stepped into contaminated water at reactor No. 3.
Japan’s nuclear safety agency said the water seeped into their boots. TV Asahi reported the two hospitalized workers were wearing short boots while a third worker was wearing long boots.
The workers, who were all in their 20s and 30s, radiation levels ranged between 173 and 180 millisieverts. The two workers were diagnosed as having sustained beta ray radiation burn injuries to their legs and were sent to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture, the nuclear safety commission said. In Japan 170 millisieverts of radiation is below the 250 allowed for workers.
Yukio Edano, a top government official, said the three men were working as a team when the accident occurred, at a news conference today. “They suffered from direct exposure to their legs,” he said.
Earlier today, Mizuno, an atomic expert for NHK, said, “There are a few puzzles here. The workers were wearing protective gear, but yet their feet and lower legs were exposed to water. And how come they weren’t aware that the radiation levels were reaching between 170 and 180 millisieverts?”
According to Asahi TV, there was no one to check radiation levels at reactor No.3 when the accident occurred.
Radiation levels at Tokyo’s Katsushika Kanamachi Water Purification Plant went down to normal levels of 79 becquerels per liter.
Yesterday levels were detected at: 210 becquerels per liter of iodine-131 – more than twice the recommended limit of 100 becquerels per liter for infants. Government officials said parents should stop giving the tap water to babies, but they should not worry if the infants already had consumed small amounts. Edano urged calm.
However, there were elevated radiation levels were detected at Kawaguchi City in Saitama prefecture, the government said. It was 120 becquerels per liter of iodine-131. Recommended safety limits for infants is 100 becquerels per liter. On March 24 elevated levels at Chiba prefecture’s Nogikunosato Water Purification plant were also detected and unsafe for babies.
Yukio Edano, top government spokesman, asked mineral water manufacturers to increase its production.
Many stores ran out of bottled water today in Tokyo as the city’s tap water was declared unsafe for babies, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The tap water for infants was twice the safety levels.
“There was some bottled water at the market, but I couldn’t buy it,” said Michiko Watanabe, a resident of Tokyo. “Only people with babies could buy it. The store was protecting it.”
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Smoke Stops at reactor No. 3
The smoke stopped rising from reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima nuclear plant today, the safety agency confirmed at 6 a.m.
The temperature of reactor No.1, which jumped to 400 degrees Celsius yesterday at 6 a.m, went down to 243 degrees today at 5 a.m. However, the pressure increased from 0.250 MPa to 0.385 MPa, which was caused from directly pouring water into the reactor. The safety agency said they will continue pouring water into the spent fuel rods pools of No. 3 and No. 4.
The safety agency said they will continue pouring water today into reactors No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4.
There was a 4.9 aftershock that shook Tokyo this morning.