Radiation dosage on Fukushima plant verge seen sagging below target level

Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced on Feb. 25 that the radiation dosage from wreckage and polluted water in a boundary zone of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant site is expected to fall below the targeted level of 1 millisievert a year at the end of March. The company said its simulated calculations put the estimated radiation dosage as of March 31 at about 0.96 millisievert, clearing its self-imposed goal of reducing it to less than 1 millisievert by the end of fiscal 2015 under a medium- and long-term road map for work to dismantle the plant disabled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The utility attributed the prospect of clearing the goal to progress in the treatment of contaminated water in the premises of the plant. The company said it will expand areas of the plant site requiring no protective gear for workers later this month in the wake of reductions in midair radiation doses resulting from the removal of polluted road pavements and surface soil. The move will make it possible for workers to wear conventional working clothes in those areas with low levels of radiation exposure. According to the company, protective gear is still required in areas near the buildings that house nuclear reactors, facilities for treating contaminated water and rows of tanks containing such water. Areas other than those do not need protective equipment. They account for about 90% of ground space in the plant premises. (Translated by Kyodo News)