Japan says 28 plant workers got high radiation doses

VIENNA Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:56am EDT

VIENNA (Reuters) - Japan has told the U.N. atomic agency that 28 nuclear workers have received high radiation doses as they battle to stabilize the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Of the 300 people at the site, which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami a month ago, 28 have accumulated doses of more than 100 millisieverts (mSv), the International Atomic Energy Agency said, citing data from Japanese authorities.

"No worker has received a dose above Japan's guidance value of 250 mSv for restricting the exposure of emergency workers," the Vienna-based IAEA said Friday.

The average dose for a nuclear plant worker is 50 millisieverts over five years.

Last month two workers from the Fukushima site were taken to hospital after their feet were exposed to 170-180 millisiverts when they stepped into contaminated water. They have since recovered.

Fukushima is the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years ago and Japanese authorities have rated it as the most severe on an internationally recognized scale. However, unlike Chernobyl, no one appears to have died from radiation exposure.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall)

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Comments (1)
Ectrudert wrote:
100 mSv is the level above which exposure is thought to be linked to increased cancer rates (see http://docsgreen.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-much-radiation-is-bad-for-you.html ). Japan has raised the total exposure these workers can absorb to 250 mSv per year. None are reported to have reached that level yet.

The U.S. limit for emergency workers acting to prevent damage to property is 100 mSv (250 mSv for workers acting to save life, which is not the case at Fukushima). Japan must have a critical shortage of workers willing or able to do the work at Fukushima if they are willing to let those who have already received more than 100 mSv to continue working there.

Apr 15, 2011 2:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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