Japan not calculating radiation amount absorbed while Fukushima workers are off-clock

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 12:02 hrs

Japan's health ministry is not calculating the amount of radiation workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant absorbed after they were evacuated or while they were off the clock.

Government officials and supporters of the workers have also claimed that the nation's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry Health does not intend to assess radiation exposure for workers engaged in decontamination efforts around the badly damaged plant.

Japan's Health Ministry currently keeps track of radiation doses when nuclear workers are actually at work.

The maximum doses for the workers and those involved in decontamination efforts are 100 millisieverts over five years and 50 millisieverts a year, The Japan Times reports.

The officials said that the ministry says that in controlling radiation dosage, it makes a distinction between work and personal life because the measures taken to mitigate exposure differ between them.

"No matter where they are exposed to radiation, it's the same thing for an individual," said Katsuyasu Iida, who works on securing the health of nuclear plant workers as head of the secretariat for the Tokyo Occupational Safety and Health Center.

According to the report, the health ministry is developing a database to record radiation doses separately from the one compiled by the Radiation Effects Association.

Iida said that by employing such a database, total dosage "should be strictly controlled by adding up doses received when they are not at work." (ANI)

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