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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Nuclear plant worker dies of acute leukemia

In this Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, a worker in protective gear measures radiation levels near a duct connected to a ventilation stack between the Unit 1 and Unit 2 reactors at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)
In this Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, a worker in protective gear measures radiation levels near a duct connected to a ventilation stack between the Unit 1 and Unit 2 reactors at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A worker in his 40s who had been engaged in recovery work at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has died of acute leukemia, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday.
Tokyo Electric said the worker's death is not linked with his work at the plant, citing results of medical examination by doctors.
The man had been exposed to 0.5 millisievert of radiation at the plant and showed no internal exposure to radiation, said the power company, known as TEPCO.
The dosage is much smaller than 5 millisieverts or higher per year -- the benchmark for recognizing a death as work-related -- TEPCO said, citing the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's criteria on work-related deaths. The ministry's criteria also put the incubation period to develop symptoms of acute leukemia at one year.
TEPCO said the man had been involved with duties on radiation control at the plant for a week starting in early August. He later complained of poor health and underwent medical checkups before his death.
This satellite file image taken on March 14, 2011, and provided by DigitalGlobe shows the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)
This satellite file image taken on March 14, 2011, and provided by DigitalGlobe shows the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe)
TEPCO said it received the report on the worker's death on Aug. 16 from one of its contractors whose subcontractor hired the worker.
The utility said it had no information on the man's work career before being engaged in the recovery work at the nuclear power plant which was crippled by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster.
(Mainichi Japan) August 30, 2011
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