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Six more workers may cross Japan’s radiation limit

Posted by on June 14, 2011 0 Comment

Tokyo: Six more workers at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant may have exceeded the radiation exposure limit, bringing the total to eight, the government said on Monday.

The health and labour ministry released the preliminary results of tests on how much radiation they had been exposed to as they worked at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Three men are control room operators and the five others worked to restore power that was knocked out by the earthquake and tsunami March 11.

Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said none of them was showing immediate health problems but would require long-term monitoring as they have an increased risk of cancer.

All eight have been transferred to desk jobs. “We find it extremely regrettable,” said Tadashi Mori, a health ministry official in charge of occupational health, referring to the six likely additions. Mori said the ministry plans to take “appropriate steps” over TEPCO’s violation when the results are confirmed.

The government soon after the disaster raised the radiation limit for men to 250 millisieverts from the standard 100 millisieverts so workers could tackle the emergency.

The health ministry also said today that at least 90 others have exceeded the earlier limit of 100 millisieverts, including several who are nearing the higher limit.

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