This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 6 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

Two Fukushima workers exceeded radiation exposure limits

The workers have not shown immediate health problems, but about 40 other workers are now being tested over fears they too may have suffered high exposure.

1 June 2011: Cars from areas within the exclusion zone around the Fukushima plane are screened for radiation.
1 June 2011: Cars from areas within the exclusion zone around the Fukushima plane are screened for radiation.
Image: Kyodo/AP/Press Association Images

JAPANESE OFFICIALS have confirmed that two workers at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the north-east of the country have exceeded the radiation exposure limit.

Plant and government officials have warned that people who worked without sufficient protection in the early days of the crisis could also show high levels of exposure and about 40 other workers are being tested.

Despite exceeding the government-set limit, the two men are not showing immediate health problems. They will continue to undergo health checks in the long term. The men were responsible for the controls rooms of Units 3 and 4 at the plant and their exposure may be as high as the equivalent of 1,000 abdominal x-rays.

The International Atomic Energy Agency released its preliminary report of an investigation into Japan’s nuclear crisis, which was triggered when the plant was struck by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and major tsunami on 11 March 2011. The IAEA said that Japan had underestimated the risk of a tsunami. Although tsunami barriers were in place, they were about three times lower than the waves which actually struck in March.

However, the IAEA commended the country’s response to the crisis as “exemplary”.

The plant operator TEPCO plans to bring it to a complete ‘cold’ shutdown by January 2012.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Japan underestimated tsunami risk to nuclear plant, says UN watchdog >

Read: Japan’s PM survives no-confidence vote over handling of nuclear crisis >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

Read next: