TEPCO releases photos of huge piles of used radiation protective gear

10/16/2011
By

Huge piles of used radiation protection suits at J Village. Photo provided by TEPCO

TOKYO (majriox news) — The Tokyo Electronic Company (TEPCO) has just released photographs of J Village, in the city of Narahamachi in Fukushima prefecture, where workers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were based. Some of the photos show piles of used hazard protection suits, underwear, and special raincoats, all of which were used for protection against the radioactive material.

The workers’ suits and clothing are defined as low-level radioactive waste, even though the workers were exposed to high levels of radiation from the plant. The clothing cannot be used again and must go through a specific handling process for radioactive materials per a provision of law.

According to TEPCO, the pile of material for disposals is huge, taller even than a person, occupying about 4,000 square meters (43,055 square feet).

About 48,000 workers have worked in the Fukushima plant since the nuclear crisis began, after the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. TEPCO is the owner and operator of the Fukushima plant.

There has been no decision on where to store the waste or what facilities should be used for disposal.

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One Response to TEPCO releases photos of huge piles of used radiation protective gear

  1. Karl on 10/17/2011 at 9:12 pm

    I would like to submit some thoughts, after 7 full months, regarding the distribution and disposal of “radiation contaminated rubble. (see article in Majiroxnews.com (7/28/11) entitled Radiation contaminated rubble subject of new gov’t law).
    It’s one thing to try to scrape up ‘radiated’ earth and dust and mulch, but quite another to dispose of it. Whatever is gathered is contaminated and now in its gathered state more concentrated than before. Where, oh where, shall we go with it? And in what sort of radiation-proof containers? Where will it find a welcome harbor, in this already tainted environment? Shall we send it to Mongolia? Or to the Antarctica? Of course not. We’ve all heard the stories of the garbage ships seeking ‘refuge’ somewhere, and for a good sum! Where do they end up, these ‘refuse refugees?’
    I recall reading something about a metropolitan area (I think Tokyo) welcoming ‘its share’ of the rubble. Can this be true? Is this a noble gesture, this opening to the wolf dressed in grandma’s clothes? I fear that surrounding prefectures will in due time unfortunately have to experience their own in-halation of the nuclear radiation, to some degree, but it is certainly not wise to hasten it by bringing in the very substance that is now silently sickening thousand of people in Tohoku.
    But common sense would say, as most epidemiologists would agree, that ‘sharing the ‘contaminated materials’ is not not wise. They would takes steps to (not sure of the order) Identify, confirm diagnosis, isolate, cordon off, quarantine and treat!
    Fukushima, perhaps the entire prefecture, is contaminated by radiation from the Dai-ichi, and any further action to deal with it or attempt to de-contaminate it (whether the soil, water, crops, forests, etc.) ought to be carried out right there. in other words the “stuff” ought to be left for disposal in that already highly contaminated and compromised venue.

    Picture the small pox epidemic. Would bringing some cases of those exposed to the virus into the neighborhood of healthy people, be a good way to help either those exposed or the healthy? No. We don’t share the poison? When leaders say, with an attitude of seeming goodwill, that they want the other prefectures to “share” the burden” of this tragedy, they certainly don’t mean that they want the others to share their camaraderie by taking a draft of the poison! Do they?
    In the Case of Fukushima, sharing the burden, in a good and humane sense, would mean receiving the people not the poison!
    But in the case reported, we are not talking about people, but about nucleated, irradiated garbage, refuse, waste.!
    Why even consider bringing it to Gifu or Kobe or Ehime or Kyushu? What folly!
    The most sensible action would be to keep it right where it has been exposed,, and work on methods to decontaminate it right there where it has come off the anvil, in Fukushima! Bury it! de-frag or de-fang it or do to it whatever the brilliant minds that invented the nuclear devises to begin with, can dream up in the next few years.

    And even while the ugly Dai-ichi Nuclear Structures, once the sweethearts to thousands in the area, are (hopefully) being thoroughly and safely covered and entombed in cement like their great ‘uncle’ Chernobyl was (though they will still bleed through their nether parts for decades), and the particulate matter is being stopped from spreading any further into the environment (at least through the air and by wind), the most important task must be taken up with urgency.
    And what is that? The well being of the people, especially the children and youth.
    And, what I’ll refer to it as the exodus of thousands of citizens from the entire “contaminated area” (and, what are those parameters?) to a fair and safe haven for their future livelihood. Unlike evacuation, which is a more temporary measure while the danger is present, exodus means literally, a way out, leaving one place to go to a better place.
    This must be done wholeheartedly and humbly and with great expedition. And if it is to be accomplished then those who claim authority over the lives of these citizens will have to become impeccably transparent and honest about the reason and purpose for this. Quite frankly, knowing the sinful nature of man, I believe this will be the greatest challenge of all.

    The authorities will have to admit that there are no easy routes out, and that the way is already strewn with wreckage and lost lives and livelihoods, but if they will begin to walk with the people out of the area to a new place, there is hope. Perhaps they will be enabled to hear the Voice of One who leads through the wilderness.
    Most will recall the Original Exodus narrated in the Bible (or at least the movie the Ten Commandments) and how the people who had been suffering for years learned to trust God who led through His servant Moses out of Egypt. It took 40 years, not because Moses was a slow walker, but because the people were hard-hearted and rebellious. They wanted the good variety of onions and garlic that Egypt was known for. They hated the “manna” (the special sembei – like bread) that God miraculously fed them with, daily. But it was by His mercy and guidance that they lived.
    The Japanese are not the people of Israel, but this story has a message for those who are living under the cloud of radiation that will be contributing to sickness and death for millions in years to come. God will help, but priorities need to be reset. He has his place holders already in the area who have known His Word and will be of encouragement to those in authority, who put first the care and well-being of the children, i.e., those who will, having been spared to reach their adulthood, bring relief to the area.
    But much depends upon the citizens of this country. They need to take action and challenge their fellow citizens and leaders – the PM and former PMs, the Governors, Mayors and Representatives – to realize that the hour that is at hand to cease evading their responsibility to protect the people, especially the weak and children, and to stop delaying and compromising with those whose vested interests take precedence over the living, precious souls of the people of Japan.
    Help the women and children, the feeble and elderly and the youth to get out of the immediate and contaminated area into safe havens way to South.
    Help the farmers to re-locate to fields left fallow for years in the South. Then, those properly equipped (and who might they be?) can work to get that decrepit and seething ‘monster’ smothered, without having to worry about tripping over those who, too hastily, ‘want to re-build!’ next to its lair before it’s thoroughly dead and buried!

    Karl, Kumamoto

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