TEPCO begins burning contaminated workers’ clothing

The radiation will go into the air and add to the contamination spreading far and wide.

“lightly contaminated”, “low-level radiation” — more cover-up by TEPCO and the news media

From Asahi Shimbun

By HIROMI KUMAI/ Staff Writer
February 26, 2016

OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–Tokyo Electric Power Co. has started to incinerate the thousands of boxes of lightly contaminated waste, including clothing used by workers, at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to reduce the amount of tainted waste on the site.

TEPCO, the plant operator, fired up a special on-site incinerator on Feb. 25 to burn protective suits, gloves, socks and other work clothes worn by plant workers that became contaminated with low-level radiation.

The operation will reduce the amount of tainted work clothing accumulating at the plant during decommissioning operations since the nuclear disaster unfurled in March 2011. The garments cannot be processed outside the plant due to the radiation.

The clothing being incinerated are items with the lowest levels of contamination that have been stored in tens of thousands of 1 cubic-meter special boxes. The number of containers reached 66,000 at the end of last year.

The incinerator is equipped with two types of filters that can reduce the radioactive levels of the exhaust air to less than one-millionth, while reducing the capacity of the waste to about 2 percent.

The incinerator can burn a maximum of 14 tons of items per day when it is operated to capacity for 24 hours. The ash residue will be stored in metallic barrels on the plant compound.

The incineration project was authorized by the Nuclear Regulation Authority in July 2014. TEPCO began operational tests of the incinerator using untainted waste last fall.

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