NHK: Gov’t stops helping Fukushima Daiichi workers with medical care — “Should be treated the same as workers at any other nuclear plant”

Published: September 12th, 2012 at 9:44 am ET


Title: Checkup subsidy halted for nuclear plant workers
Source: NHK
Date: Sept 12, 2012

The Japanese health ministry’s halt to subsidies for medical checkups for some subcontracted workers at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is making it difficult for some of them to continue having regular checkups.

The financial support was stopped last December after the government declared that the reactors had been stabilized.


Workers are required to have checks for cataracts when their cumulative radiation exceeds 50 millisieverts and regular cancer tests at more than 100 millisieverts.


After the government’s declaration, it removed the designation and disqualified workers from receiving the subsidy if their cumulative level did not exceed the criteria at that time. Newly employed workers are not covered either.

The health ministry says it decided that working at the Fukushima plant should be treated the same as working at any other nuclear plant.


National Institute of Radiological Sciences Director Makoto Akashi says he cannot understand why it chose last December in particular to stop its financial support.


Published: September 12th, 2012 at 9:44 am ET


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11 comments to NHK: Gov’t stops helping Fukushima Daiichi workers with medical care — “Should be treated the same as workers at any other nuclear plant”

  • chrisk9

    Well if you continue to shield your dosimeters, and leave them behind pretty soon there will be no one eligible for medical follow ups. What about internal does? What kind of whole body counting are you performing. To detect alpha emitters you need to change the way whole body counting is done. I bet you have not made that change.
    What a complete lack of humanity, morality and ethical behavior this company and it's management has shown time after time. It has zero concern for it's workers and the public.If corporations are people then TEPCO is ?? Hitler, Stalin, Manson?

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      90% of Chernobyl's heroic liquidators are invalids today. That's not counting the 10 – 15% that are already dead. Its not the government psychopath's cost of doing business if they ignore that it was a cost.

      Early contract workers at Fukushima were the homeless or destitute supplied by the Yakuza. They didn't even bother with dosimiters for them. The current contract workers do not get reports of their total dose, they just know they'll be unemployed if they don't help TEPCO game the system. And the Japanese government doesn't even want to document the dose and effects on contaminated citizens – that's expensive! They prefer to leave TEPCO's coverup alone. Better to deny there ever was a victim then be stuck paying for their care later.

      Nothing will be different if there's ever a similar accident in the U.S.

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    I suspect that the reasons for stopping this is becasue their levels are too high. Now they Must keep those facts quiet, in order to continue their claim of Cold shutdown & in order to limit Tepco's legal responsibility. It also protects the industry Worldwide. It also allows more & more workers to exceed the legal limits & not scare away potential..*victims (new workers)

  • or-well

    The health ministry halts payments to subcontractors who were paying for the workers checkups.
    So the taxpayers were paying.
    Not the subcontracting employers.
    Not Tepco.
    Well, who should have been paying is one issue.
    But it wasn't the health ministrys' issue apparently.

    To categorize working at the Fukushima plant as the same as working at any other nuke plant seems amazingly crude, heavy-handed and unsophisticated reasoning.

    Yet there was great gov't enthusiasm for promoting the myth of cold shutdown at the time.

    They exposed themselves to IMplausible deniability, as evidenced by reported exposures.

    *Is Director Akashi blowing a whistle softly?*

    We don't need nuke-worker heroes
    when leaded dosimeters register zero,
    when cold shutdown asserts the crisis is over
    and business as usual is the order.
    No imminent danger or health effects
    for poor old indebted yakuza rejects!
    No more subsidy money in sub-contractors pockets!
    Let's hope nothing else goes up like a rocket!
    You workers are working in fields of clover
    as all official danger is over!

  • jahdesm jahdesm

    maidenheaven is absolutely right

  • ForwardAssist ForwardAssist

    Every single day the Japanese government loses more and more honor. Just another example of how the governments of the world cannot be trusted.

  • weeman

    In the future how will you get people to work at the site if they are not going to provide health care for them for the rest of their life's, it is the least they can do if you volunteer for cleanup and construction.

    These people are pure dead brilliant.

    • GlowInTheDark GlowInTheDark

      Prospective workers are also conned into working at the site weeman. They are first told to do not risky work but when they arrive at the site they are instructed to work in the high dose area.

      Clean up is meaningless while more radiation is being released.
      You can never clean up and vanish the radiaoactive soil etc. You can only move it to somewhere else. If radiation release stops completely, then we might have a chance but chances of that happening is very slim. Chernobyl is still leaking after all.

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    Units 1 through 3 (and likely 4) are no longer reactors, and therefore can't be considered as part of a nuke plant.

    The statement "Should be treated the same as workers at any other nuclear plant” is not applicable.

    • blackbuddha blackbudda

      exactly Flapdoodle, good point!

    • pierre

      I wonder if a dramatic event like 'terrorists' storming parliament, holding hostages, occassionally shooting a politician would be described as "treated the same as any other parliament".
      trouble with nukes is their deadly silent death, easier to ignore than most of the problems which are also ignored.