FUKUSHIMA, Japan, June 14 (UPI) -- Students in Fukushima, Japan, will get dosimeters this fall to help calm fears of radiation exposure from the nearby crippled nuclear plant, officials said.
City officials said they will distribute the devices, which measure exposure to ionizing radiation, to about 34,000 students from pre-school through junior high, Kyodo News reported.
Municipal officials said they would hand out the gauges for about three months beginning in September as part of an effort to ensure students' health. Data will be collected monthly and reviewed with medical institutions.
Fukushima's decision followed decisions by local officials in Date and Kawamata to distribute the dosimeters.
The Fukushima Daiichi plant has been crippled since it was damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, triggering the country's worst post-war nuclear incident.
The birth of an albino rabbit without ears near the nuclear plant triggered new concerns about radiation released into the atmosphere since March 11, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.
The rabbit was born May 7 in the town of Namie, just beyond the 18-mile exclusion zone imposed around the crippled plant, the bunny's owner, Yuko Sugimoto, said. Namie, however, was identified as a radiation hot spot.
"I have been raising rabbits for more than 10 years and this is the first time something like this has happened," Sugimoto told Flash magazine.
Some experts dismissed a tie between the rabbit and radiation, noting that animals occasionally are born with abnormalities and mother rabbits have been known to chew off ears of their young during aggressive grooming, the Telegraph said.
Images of the rabbit posted on YouTube and elsewhere coincided with the announcement by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the nuclear plant's operator, that levels of radioactive strontium about 240 times the legal limit were detected in samples of seawater taken near the plant.