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Four workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials, leading to the hospitalization of two individuals as a precautionary measure in the Fukushima nuclear plant. The incident occurred during a routine cleaning operation, underscoring the ongoing hazards and challenges associated with the site’s decommissioning. Read in detail about Fukushima Plant workers hospitalized after exposure to radioactive water in this article.
The incident occurred on Wednesday when five workers were engaged in the critical task of cleaning pipes in the system designed to filter wastewater before its release into the sea. Unfortunately, an unforeseen accident occurred when a hose disconnected, resulting in two workers being inadvertently splashed with the radioactive water. Furthermore, two additional workers were exposed while attempting to address the spill, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the plant’s operator, Tepco.
According to Tepco, the radiation levels detected in the Fukushima Plant reached or surpassed 4 becquerels per square centimeter, a threshold considered within the safety limits. “We’ve been told the condition of the two workers being hospitalized is stable,” stated the Tepco spokesperson, offering a glimmer of reassurance amid the concerning situation.
The company has announced that both affected workers will remain under hospital care for approximately two weeks for follow-up examinations. Meanwhile, an in-depth investigation into the circumstances leading to the accident is underway, aiming to prevent any future recurrence.
This distressing incident emerged shortly after Tepco completed the release of a second batch of wastewater from the Fukushima Plant. Coincidentally, it occurred during the visit of United Nations inspectors to conduct a safety review at the facility, further intensifying global attention towards the safety and handling of the plant’s operations.
Tepco initiated the release of more than 1 million tonnes of treated water into the sea in late August, a move that drew criticism from China and local fishing communities. Despite the treatment process to eliminate most radioactive substances, the water contains tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that is challenging to separate from water.
While Tokyo asserts the harmlessness of the water released, supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, China and Russia have taken a critical stance, leading to the ban on Japanese seafood imports. This incident has raised concerns about the safety protocols at the Fukushima Plant and the potential repercussions on international relations and trade agreements regarding Japanese goods, particularly seafood exports.
The primary objective behind this substantial water release, amounting to the volume of 540 Olympic swimming pools, is to create space for the significantly more hazardous task of removing radioactive fuel and debris from the three affected reactors.
Fukushima plant workers hospitalized serves as a stark reminder of the complex challenges and risks associated with the Fukushima plant’s decommissioning, urging the utmost caution and stringent safety measures in handling the radioactive substances within the facility.