Employees at the Fukushima nuclear power plant were hospitalized after being exposed to contaminated water.
According to the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, four employees were exposed to water containing radioactive substances. Two of them were sent to the hospital as a precaution.
The incident, which took place on Wednesday, highlights the dangers Japan still faces in decommissioning the plant. The reactor was knocked out by an immense tsunami in 2011 in the world’s worst atomic disaster since Chornobyl in 1986.
According to a representative from Tepco, while five workers were performing maintenance on the wastewater filtration system before releasing it into the ocean, two of them were splashed when a hose became disconnected by accident.
According to the spokesperson, two additional individuals were exposed to the contamination while helping to clean up the spill.
The radiation levels of the two hospitalized men were equal to or higher than 4 becquerels per square centimeter, which is the threshold for safety.
The Tepco spokesperson stated that the two hospitalized workers are in stable condition.
Tepco stated that both individuals would be hospitalized for approximately two weeks for follow-up evaluations. The company is also investigating the cause of the accident and implementing measures to avoid future occurrences.
A few days after Tepco released a second round of wastewater from the plant, an incident occurred while United Nations inspectors were conducting a safety review at the facility.
On August 24th, Tepco started pumping over 1 million tonnes of water into the ocean, which has been met with disapproval from China and nearby fishing communities. There are concerns about the negative impact on the quality of their catch. The water goes through a treatment process to eliminate most radioactive elements, but it still contains tritium, a type of hydrogen that cannot be easily removed from water.
The International Atomic Energy Agency supports Tokyo’s belief that the released water is not harmful.
China and Russia have expressed disapproval of the release and have prohibited imports of Japanese seafood.
The water release, which is equal to 540 Olympic swimming pools, is intended to create room for the more dangerous job of extracting radioactive fuel and debris from the three damaged reactors.