Radiation leaks at Japan plutonium lab, no workers exposed

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A Japanese state-run nuclear fuel laboratory near Tokyo has detected a radiation leak in its plutonium handling facility, but no workers were exposed.

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday a radiation alarm went off after nine changed plastic covers on two canisters containing a mixture of plutonium and uranium and removed them from a sealed compartment.

The agency said the workers, each wearing a mask, escaped after running into another room. No leak was detected outside the facility, which ended fuel production in 2001 and is being decommissioned.

The cause of the leak is under investigation. The agency suggested possible damage to the plastic covers.

A bag of plutonium broke during an inspection at another facility operated by the agency in 2017, contaminating five workers.

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User comments

Jan 31, 2019
"plutonium is less toxic than caffeine, so it is documented."

In a single eruption, a volcano can release as much radioactive material as all nuclear weapons, as well polonium-210 worse than cesium-137 & protactinium-231 equivalent to plutonium-239 in terms of toxicity.
Carbon-free nuclear plants emit less radiation than a bunch of bananas.

"Best comparisons indicate that, gram for gram, toxins such as ricin, some snake venoms, cyanide, and even caffeine are significantly more toxic than plutonium."

Plutonium saves lives

Jan 31, 2019
With Plutonium I'd be more worried about the toxicity than the radiation. That stuff kills you chemically way easier than it does through any kind of radiation exposure.

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