Saturday, May 14, 2011

Worker dies in central Fukushima after losing consciousness

A worker at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station died Saturday after collapsing unconscious while carrying building materials in a plant, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported. The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), has indicated that it has found traces of radioactive substances in the human body and it had no apparent injuries.

The operator collapsed one hour after starting their working day at 06.00 am (21.00 GMT Friday) when he entered a medical ward of the facility in Fukushima. This is the first time a worker dies Fukushima plant while working, and the other two deceased employees were victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit nuclear plant on 11 March.

Tepco previously received criticism for failures in security measures of some operators, who must often work in an environment with high levels of radiation, as well as the conditions under which their employees live within the facility. More than 30 employees Fukushima have been exposed to high levels of radiation while performing their daily tasks, some of them for not wearing appropriate protective measures, while fifteen people were injured in the early days of the crisis by explosions in Units 1 and 3.

The operator slowly moves to stabilize the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, although the measures to cool the units and reduce pollution last week allowed the operators could enter for the first time inside the reactor 1.

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