Officials: Radiation exposure in No. 1 building would be so high workers could not re-enter area for “several years”
April 20th, 2011 at 10:51 AM
Radiation, aftershocks could slow Fukushima stabilization, Asahi, April 20, 2011:
Another problem area is the building housing the No. 1 reactor. TEPCO officials used a U.S.-made robot on April 16 to measure radiation levels and detected radiation of 270 millisieverts per hour in the No. 1 reactor building.
That level of radiation means a worker could spend less than an hour in the area before exceeding the allowable dosage.
The exposure would be so high workers could not re-enter the area for several years, officials said. If radiation levels remain at high levels, TEPCO’s experienced workforce would all quickly reach maximum radiation exposure levels, severely slowing the effort to stabilize the plant.
To achieve TEPCO’s road map objective of a cold shutdown of the reactors after six to nine months, officials are seeking to restore the cooling system… Workers will have to work in those buildings to inspect and repair the equipment and piping.
As a contingency plan in the event the cooling system cannot be restored, preparations are being made to install heat exchangers that use cool air rather than water. That installation work will also require workers to enter the reactor buildings. …