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Fukushima staff could use raincoats as virus threatens gear production

The lack of suits and masks may cause work delays. TEPCO’s alternative ideas such as using plastic rain gear may put workers at higher risk of exposure.
Tyvek suits become impossible to obtain.
This could also impact access to N95 masks. These are currently used in lower risk areas to prevent small particles of radioactive dust from being inhaled. The same masks are used to block coronavirus among the public and health care workers in lower risk situations. Masks have been in short supply world wide causing long lines as consumers hope to secure a supply. Masks were recently stolen from a hospital in Kobe.
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Fukushima staff may be forced to use raincoats as COVID-19 threatens gear production
18 Feb 2020 03:40PM
TOKYO: Workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may need to wear plastic raincoats as the coronavirus outbreak threatens production of protective suits in China, the operator warned on Tuesday (Feb 18).
The workers cleaning up the plant wear special plastic overcoats to prevent radioactive dust settling on clothes or the body and the TEPCO operator gets through 6,000 per day.
But a TEPCO spokesman told AFP “we could have difficulties getting certain specific items from our usual suppliers” because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“For example, we have coats with transparent pockets showing an ID badge and their radiation measuring device and it is possible these same products are not available,” he added.
In this case, they would be forced to resort to commercially available products such as plastic raincoats, said the official.
There should be no impact on safety as the coats are not designed to protect workers from radiation since the rays penetrate clothes in any case. << = Gamma rays don’t stop for Tyvek, either.
 
Fukushima staff could use raincoats as virus threatens gear production
Workers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may need to wear plastic raincoats as the coronavirus outbreak threatens production of protective suits in China, the operator warned on Tuesday.
Staff cleaning up the plant wear special plastic overcoats to prevent radioactive dust settling on clothes or the body and the TEPCO operator gets through 6,000 per day.
But a TEPCO spokesman told AFP “we could have difficulties getting certain specific items from our usual suppliers” because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“For example, we have coats with transparent pockets showing an ID badge and their radiation measuring device and it is possible these same products are not available,” he added.
In this case, they would be forced to resort to commercially available products such as plastic raincoats, said the official.
There should be no impact on safety as the coats are not designed to protect workers from radiation since the rays penetrate clothes in any case.

February 23, 2020 - Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , ,

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