Japanese restrict atomic exposure testing

June 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM
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OKUMA, Japan, June 14 (UPI) -- Japan's Fukushima prefecture has asked Hirosaki University to stop testing people for radiation exposure levels following last year's nuclear plant disaster.

Government officials told the research team from the university's Institute of Radiation Emergency Medicine to stop collecting radiation exposure measurements from residents surrounding the site of last year's nuclear plant meltdown that followed a tsunami, The Mainichi Shimbun reported Thursday.

The researchers said Fukushima's Local Medical Care Division told them, "It's all right to measure environmental levels, but testing people stirs uneasiness, so we would like you to stop it."

The research team indicated it felt the Fukushima government had prematurely shortened their research.

"The reason anxiety about radiation has become prolonged is that we have no information from that time (soon after the March 2011 disaster)," said Shinji Tokonami, professor at Hirosaki University.

The data Tokonami's team collected has been published. Of 62 people they tested in March of last year, five were diagnosed to have received an unhealthy dose of nuclear radiation.

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