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View Diary: Power of Community: Fukushima Rov #54 (225 comments)

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  •  Workers are in #1 (5+ / 0-)

    The radiation levels inside the plant are 49 millisieverts. TEPCO is hoping that filtering and recirculating the air will reduce contamination levels to 1/20th current levels.

    Workers enter No. 1 reactor building for 1st time since accident ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

    Workers entered the No. 1 nuclear reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant Thursday for the first time since a hydrogen explosion occurred outside the reactor container on March 12, a day after the complex was damaged by a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Tokyo Electric Power Co officials said.

    The workers installed eight pipes connected to a ventilating device at the adjacent turbine building as part of efforts to reduce the high level of radioactive contamination inside the reactor building by circulating air through a filter on the device, the officials said.

    The move is aimed at preventing workers from suffering internal radiation exposure when they work on setting up a new cooling system at the No. 1 reactor, according to TEPCO, which operates the plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

    On Thursday, a total of 12 workers with protective suits, masks and air packs broke up into four three-member teams to install the pipes, while checking the time spent inside the No. 1 reactor building and the radiation levels there to make sure they were not heavily exposed to radioactive substances, according to the officials.

    The task is expected to reduce the concentration of radioactive substances inside the building to one-twentieth the current levels as the air will go through the pipes and through the filter, which will catch the substances, before going back to the reactor building.

    High radiation levels inside the building had prevented workers from entering it. Radiation up to 49 millisieverts per hour was detected inside the reactor building on April 17 during a survey using a robot.

    •  49 millisieverts/hr (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rja, peraspera

      Eek, so they'd reach their maximum dose in 5 hours just being in that building? Or is that only if they got an internal dose?

      •  I'm pretty sure it's from external radiation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, peraspera

        and not from an internal dose.

        The plan, if I understand it correctly, is to send a few workers in for a short time to install a filtering system to reduce radioactivity in the air inside the reactor building, and then once conditions are safer they can send in more workers to establish a temporary water circulation system that will cool the reactor.

        Here is an image from the Yomiuri Shinbun that shows the concept of how the new cooling system will work. The area surrounded by the red dashed line is the new temporary system that will be constructed when conditions improve inside the reactor building. They want to start work on May 8th and finish it at the end of May or in early June.

        The plan, according to a story in the Asahi, is to do something similar for units 2 and 3 in July. The Asahi story has a diagram that is about the same as the Yomiuri's.

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