Poor radiological practices catch up with Fukushima again.

Two workers have gotten very large uptakes of iodine.

The inspection by the government agency found 9,760 and 7,690 becquerels of iodine-131 in the thyroid glands of the workers, 10 times higher than other workers at Fukushima, reports said.

The tests sparked fears that their radiation exposure had been several hundred millisieverts, Jiji said.

A few comments.  First, if they did get, say, 200 mSv from the internal exposure, you add it to external dose to get the total.  Meaning they may very well have gone over 250 mSv.

But if it’s iodine, it’s not whole body exposure.  They probably mean “hundreds of mSv” to the thyroid.  But I doubt they scaled up the legal specific organ dose to go with the emergency whole body dose.  So…over the limit, they are.  (Does that sound too Yoda?) 

Hopefully that’s a worse-case scenario.  Remember that I-131 has an eight-day half-life, plus whatever the body eliminates.  So they’re probably (oh, who knows?) assuming the men got the internal exposure early, maybe March 11th or so.  If they’re reading ~10,000 Bq now, it would have been up to 1,000x more at that point.

Honestly?  I don’t know how that could go undetected.  Even given what we’ve seen.  There’s video of them frisking workers.  Well, when those guys approached a frisker it would start responding.  And it would go crazy when brought near the neck.  Heck, I could find that level of iodine with a dose rate meter.  And they were supposedly also giving them whole body counts.  There’s no way to miss it with that, either. 

 So, hopefully, they didn’t get it at the earliest.  But even at their current levels, I could never miss that activity with a frisker.  Never.  You’d have to be in a background level so high, frisking is utterly useless in the first place.  

And why the heck weren’t they all taking potassium iodide tablets?!  Especially given the incompetent use of respirators we’ve seen repeatedly.  My first guess is, that’s why these two stick out from the rest.

I just don’t know what they’re doing.  As usual.  

I’m guessing they didn’t get enough exposure to recommend “burning out” their thyroids.  That kind of dose is probably in the multi-Sievert range.  In that case, the chance of future thyroid cancer is consider large enough to give them much, much more iodine, to kill the organ.  

This is the new standard in radiological incompetence.  I’d say sterilize the folks making these decisions, but it’s probably a bunch of old farts.  So sterilize their children and grandkids.  Genes, out of the pool!

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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5 Responses to Poor radiological practices catch up with Fukushima again.

  1. MG says:

    Japan is pretty far into the population decline curve already!

  2. Jay says:

    MG: no problem, send in the retirees!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13598607

    I am a shocked and awed at nuclear workers not taking iodine.
    I would hope they all take iodine all the time, just to be safe. Heck, I take low dose iodine (seaweed pills) just to keep my thyroid healthy. Iodine is good stuff.

    • wormme says:

      I think there can be detrimental health effects from staying on them. Not serious, but enough. I don’t even think the Three Mile Island responders used them, since the released activity was mostly noble gases.

    • MG says:

      ‘Yamato spirit.’

      I somewhat see a lot of bad translations of rules at work in what’s happened in Japan. Over a certain age a population that might be exposed to radio-iodine doesn’t ‘need’ iodine, read one rule for populations and not the one for workers, add in changing languages and….

      As a technical, usually the medical pill form iodine isn’t something for people to constantly take without a medical reason.
      In the crisis it’s appropriate, certainly.

  3. Pingback: Did the IAEA just beclown itself? | World's Only Rational Man

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