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TEPCO sent workers into ‘hot’ reactor without warning them

Daily Yomiuri Online reported that Tokyo Power company (TEPCO) knew of a leak in the Number 3 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi prior to sending repair workers into the area. Most startling was the fact that the presence of the leak was not shared with workers pulling a power line into the damaged reactor, who last week walked through radioactive water pooled on the floor of the basement and received radioactive burns on their feet.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. knew of the possibility of highly concentrated radioactive leakage at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant’s No. 3 reactor, but it failed to alert workers before three of them were exposed to radiation Thursday, it was learned Saturday.

The worker’s exposure to highly radioactive ankle-deep water in the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor was most likely due to TEPCO’s failure to share information about the leakage of radioactive materials with the workers, the company admitted.

Another cause of the mishap was the failure on the part of the workers to pay attention to the pool of radiation-polluted water while laying power cables in spite of radiation alarms sounding, according to TEPCO.

The company had detected 200 millisieverts per hour of radiation leaking from the first basement of the turbine building of the No. 1 reactor on March 18, six days before the accident.

The risk management of the TEPCO management is amazing in its lax attitude in the face of this severe nuclear accident. As a matter of fact, the potential leak was widely reported on the 16th and 17th and I remember that I was amazed that more was not said about it since the No.3 Reactor is the one with plutonium in it. Any leakage of plutonium is highly toxic to humans and long lasting environmentally.

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