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Leaving no stone unturned in heatstroke battle at nuclear plant via The Asahi Shimbun

By HIROSHI ISHIZUKA/ Staff Writer

OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–How to avert a heatstroke is more pressing than usual in Japan this summer as the archipelago bakes in a record heat wave.

It’s not just sun-worshipers, children, the elderly and the infirm who should worry.

Spare a thought for the 5,000 or so workers who toil at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to get it ready for decommissioning.

They have to work outside in protective gear, with limited access to water and other resources.

At 5 a.m. on Aug. 6, a manager reminded a 20-strong group from IHI Plant Construction Co., which was contracted by Tokyo Electric Power Co., of the importance of adhering strictly to work rules.

[…]

The Fukushima plant complex has about 900 tanks set up. IHI Plant Construction installed about 20 percent of them.

The workers’ primary responsibility in recent weeks is to inspect the condition of covers put in place to stop rainwater from accumulating around the tanks.

The workers are spared from the scorching sun as they work under cover, but coping with 90 to 95 percent humidity is a formidable challenge.

[…]

According to TEPCO, 23 workers suffered heatstroke in the summer of 2011, shortly after the nuclear crisis unfolded at the plant.

[…]

In fiscal 2014, the number of workers afflicted with heatstroke at the plant stood at 15.

It dropped to four in fiscal 2016, but went back up to six in fiscal 2017 despite it being a relatively cool summer that year.

Read more at Leaving no stone unturned in heatstroke battle at nuclear plant 

Posted in *English.

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