Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

In Focus: Radiation Protection at Works Relating to TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Press release

14 February 2013
Office for Radiation Protection of Workers
Industrial Health Division
Occupational Safety and Health Department
Labour Standards Bureau

Measures to prevent radiation hazards were formulated for workers involved in disposal of decontamination waste.

The expert meeting on radiological protection for disposal works of decontamination-removed materials (Chaired by Koji Mori, Professor of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan) formulated a report.

In light of that, disposal (*1) of decontamination waste (*2) is expected to get into full swing next year with the progress of the decontamination project. The expert meeting has discussed measures to prevent radiation hazards of workers engaged in disposal since December 2012.

Obligations on the disposal employers to implement proposed by the expert meeting are as follows:

  1. To define requirements that the system where decontaminated waste would be conditioned or disposed of, such as crushing, incineration and landfill should meet (e.g. structure and materials that will not allow leakage of effluents)
  2. To take measures to prevent spread of contamination (e.g. survey of contamination and wearing a dusk mask and protective clothing)
  3. To ensure operation management (e.g. Preparation of operation manuals)
  4. To provide special education to workers (e.g. effect of radiation, radiation dose control method)

It should be noted that definition of radiation controlled area, radiation exposure dose limits, dose measurement and recording and measures for health care should follow the provisions in the current Ordinance on prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards (Ionizing Radiation Ordinance).

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare will, based on the report, compile a partial revision of the ordinance with a schedule of disseminating it on April and putting it into effect on July. A guideline that illustrates relevant regulations comprehensively will also be prepared.

*1 Limited to those with radioactivity of radiocesium higher than 10,000 Bq/kg

*2 Maintenance and inspection of interim treatment (sorting, crashing, press, concentration, incineration, etc.), interim storage and final disposal or other related facilities or systems

  1. Report Overview PDF 821KB
  2. Report PDF 598KB
  1. Requirements for Facilities in the Disposal Site and Dose Limits (4th expert meeting material) PDF 367KB
  2. Principle on the interim storage facilities necessary for handling environmental pollution by radioactive materials discharged by the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident (1st expert meeting material) PDF 1,108KB
  3. Overview of Waste Management and the Facility Maintenance (1st expert meeting material) PDF 1,044KB
  4. Pretreatment of waste for the interim treatment (Example) (2nd expert meeting material) PDF 483KB
  5. Flow diagram of landfilling designated wastes at the final disposal site (2nd expert meeting material) PDF 259KB
  6. Criteria for selecting a respiratory protective equipment for workers engaged in the disposal of decontaminated waste (2nd expert meeting material) PDF 60KB
  7. Concept in the Laws Concerning the Prevention from Radiation Hazards due to Radioisotopes and Others and the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors (3rd expert meeting material) PDF 180KB
  8. Estimation of dust concentration at work places for decontamination waste disposal and selection of a respirator (4th expert meeting material) PDF 424KB