[ RadSafe ] Fukushima beta radiation burns

Strickert, Rick rstrickert at signaturescience.com
Thu Mar 24 15:50:48 CDT 2011

Below are a couple of links on reports that three workers at the Fukushima No. 3 reactor got beta-radiation burns on their feet when they were laying electrical cables while standing in radioactively-contaminated water.  One report stated: "TEPCO said radioactive water may have seeped through the workers' radiation protective gear, causing radioactive materials in the water to stick to their skin."  

The workers also received radiation doses of 17 to 18 rem while working from 10 AM to 12:10 PM (suggesting a 1.2 - 1.3 rem/h average dose rate).  It's not clear whether the workers were standing in water the entire 14 hours.

Can one estimate (or WAG) the solution concentrations of beta-emitters (Ci/L) that would have to be in the water for the workers to get radiation burns from the water that seeped through the workers' radiation protective gear (e.g. Tyvex booties over work shoes?)?  


Rick Strickert
Austin, TX

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