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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Japan : 2 nuclear plant workers exceed radiation limit; more being tested

Via Japan Today :

" TOKYO : Two nuclear plant workers have exceeded Japan’s radiation exposure limit for men and others who toiled without sufficient protection in the earliest days of the disaster could show high levels as well, the government and plant operator said Friday.

The two control room operators at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are the first men to surpass the government-set limit. About 40 workers are being tested further after preliminary findings showed high exposures, TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said.

The two men are not showing immediate health problems but have an increased lifetime risk of cancer. TEPCO will take care of their long-term health monitoring, he said.

Doctors at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences examined them and said the two men don’t require current health treatment and can live normally, Matsumoto said.

Workers have been fighting to get the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant under control since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out power and crucial cooling systems, largely melting the cores of three reactors. Several explosions have scattered highly radioactive debris around the plant and leaked radiactivity into the environment around it.

The two men, one in his 30s and the other in his 40s, were responsible for the central control room for Unit 3 and 4 reactors the day the disasters struck and in the days that followed. About 150 other control room operators worked early in the crisis and are being examined."

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