Asahi: White blood cell count spikes in Fukushima worker — 3,000+ may not have used dosimeters at plant just after 3/11

Published: September 4th, 2012 at 5:16 pm ET
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(Subscription Only) Title: 40% of workers had no dosimeter at nuke plant soon after disaster
Source: THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Date: September 04, 2012

A construction company employee in Fukushima Prefecture found that his white blood cell count had spiked a year after he worked at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant without a dosimeter, following the disaster that crippled the plant.

The man, in his 30s, is concerned whether his exposure to radiation on the day he worked will be recognized as the cause if he develops cancer. Dose records are necessary for applying for workers’ compensation benefits, and he believes the reading he was told to record was lower than the actual level.

His exposure occurred on March 16, 2011

[…]

TEPCO records show 7,766 people worked at the Fukushima No. 1 plant between March 15 and March 31, 2011, and 3,077, or about 40 percent, did not have a dosimeter.

[…]

In lawsuits, plaintiffs have to present records of their radiation exposure data at a nuclear power plant.

[…]

TEPCO informed the health ministry of the emergency measure to deal with a shortage of dosimeters on March 31, 2011. The health ministry called for immediate improvements, fearing individual workers’ dose data may not be correctly recorded.

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TEPCO also said the practice does not violate the Industrial Safety and Health Law.

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But the health ministry disagreed and recommended corrective action be taken on May 30, 2011. It said TEPCO could have had all workers wear dosimeters much earlier.

[…]

The latest case could further erode the reliability of dosage data recorded for nuclear plant workers.

Title: 3,000 May Not Have Used Dosimeters at Fukushima Plant
Source: Jiji
Date: Sept 4, 2012

Over 3,000 people may have worked at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant without carrying dosimeters in the early days of the crisis at the plant, a Japanese government source said Tuesday.

[…]

Health minister Yoke Komiyama said at a news conference, “The health ministry issued an order on March 31, 2011, to correct the situation.”

“We have confirmed that all workers have been carrying dosimeters (since then),” she said, adding that her ministry is taking such measures as checking on the workers’ internal radiation exposure and giving them consultations.

[…]

Published: September 4th, 2012 at 5:16 pm ET
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4 comments to Asahi: White blood cell count spikes in Fukushima worker — 3,000+ may not have used dosimeters at plant just after 3/11