Japan nuke workers nearing max exposure

May 1, 2011 at 9:22 AM
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TOKYO, May 1 (UPI) -- Some nuclear workers at Japan's damaged Fukushima power plant are approaching the maximum allowable annual radiation exposure, power officials said.

Prior to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that badly damaged four of six reactors at Fukushima, Japanese labor law said the maximum radiation nuclear workers could be exposed to per year was 100 millisieverts. Four days after the disaster, the maximum exposure was increased to 250 millisieverts.

The Tokyo Electric Power Co., which runs the nuclear plant northeast of Tokyo, announced Saturday two male workers who were treated for radiation burns to their feet March 24 were each near the annual maximum of 250 millisieverts, Kyodo News reported. The men had unknowingly been standing and working in radioactive water before they were hospitalized.

The utility said 21 workers had been exposed to more than 100 millisieverts by the end of March and it continued to monitor all of its employees.

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