February 18, 2020
Fukushima staff could use raincoats as virus threatens gear production
Workers at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may need to wear plastic raincoats as the coronavirus outbreak threatens production of protective suits in China, the operator warned on Tuesday.
Staff cleaning up the plant wear special plastic overcoats to prevent radioactive dust settling on clothes or the body and the TEPCO operator gets through 6,000 per day.
But a TEPCO spokesman told AFP "we could have difficulties getting certain specific items from our usual suppliers" because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"For example, we have coats with transparent pockets showing an ID badge and their radiation measuring device and it is possible these same products are not available," he added.
In this case, they would be forced to resort to commercially available products such as plastic raincoats, said the official.
There should be no impact on safety as the coats are not designed to protect workers from radiation since the rays penetrate clothes in any case.
© 2020 AFP