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First long-term survey of workers' health

March 4, 2015

Long-term study of Fukushima workers to start



Mar. 4, 2015 - Updated 02:00 UTC+1

A Japanese government-affiliated research organization will launch a long-term health study of people who were working at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant right after the nuclear disaster in March of 2011.

The Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima Prefecture says it will start the survey in fiscal 2015, which begins in April. The research body is supported by the Japanese and US governments.

The study will focus on about 20,000 people doing such jobs as debris removal at the plant immediately after the nuclear accident.

Researchers say they have already sent documents to these people explaining the survey and seeking applicants. They say they hope to start with residents of Fukushima Prefecture.

The study will ask people when, where and what tasks they performed at the plant. It will estimate each individual's radiation exposure and continue to monitor their health.

The project will be an epidemiological study on the long-term effects of radiation. It will be conducted with subsidies from Japan's health ministry, with the cooperation of universities and medical institutions.

The health ministry says the program is the first long-term nationwide health survey of people who were working at the power plant immediately after the disaster.


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