Fukushima Worker’s Cancer Tied To Disaster Exposure

A former worker at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant during the disaster response at the plant has had his cancer tied to his work at the plant. The 30 year old man with leukemia was awarded work related compensation. His exposure at the plant was 15.7 mSv.

Some media sources considered this the first casualty at the plant. A number of workers have died at the plant for various reasons with some of these deaths having unresolved potential exposure links to the death. There have also been claims that even more contract workers had died at their residences from possibly work related injuries but these deaths are not counted as worker related.

The worker with leukemia had a lower exposure dose than many of the workers at the plant with some as high as 750 mSv and many workers exceeding the 100 mSv limit that prevents further work at the plant. Complicating the matter further was the lack of enough working dosimeters during the initial disaster. Some workers did not have one or they shared a dosimeter among a work party. There are also instances where workers left their dosimeter behind to do dangerous work so they would not end up excluded from further work at the plant. Even the more routine work later on saw instances of contractors having workers put lead shields over their dosimeter so they could work longer at the plant.

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