Woman at nuke plant exposed to excess radiation
A woman working at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant was found to have been exposed to radiation of more than 3 times the legal safety limit.
The woman, in her 50s, showed no health problems in a medical checkup.
Her employer, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says the woman was in charge of managing disaster-related supplies and showing firefighters around the plant’s compound.
She worked at the plant for 11 days after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, and was exposed to 17.55 millisieverts of radiation. The figure is more than 3 times the permissible amount for women, which is set at 5 millisieverts per 3 months.
The woman may have inhaled radioactive material when taking off protective gear, as internal exposure of 13.6 millisieverts accounted for much of the total.
The limit for workers at the Fukushima plant was raised from 100 to 250 millisieverts per year after the accident to cope with the emergency. But the limit for women was left unchanged due to their child-bearing possibilities.
Senior official of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Hidehiko Nishiyama, told reporters it is very sorry that the woman was exposed to excessive radiation. It says it has already reprimanded TEPCO verbally, and plans to order it in writing to find out why this happened and take steps to prevent a recurrence.