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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Raising workers' exposure in cases of emergency

April 17, 2015

Experts propose raising exposure limit for workers





Apr. 17, 2015 - Updated 12:59 UTC+2


Japanese experts have proposed raising the radiation exposure limit for nuclear plant workers in the event of a severe accident.

An expert panel of the labor ministry came up with the proposal on Friday based on lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011.

During the nuclear crisis, many workers at the plant were exposed to radiation beyond the government limit of 100 millisieverts. It had to be temporarily raised to 250 millisieverts.

On Friday, the panel's report said the labor minister should be able to raise the limit up to 250 millisieverts in some emergencies.

These would include a serious nuclear accident in which local residents are exposed to radiation. An accident might also make a plant's radiation levels too high and thus workers could not get the job done if the 100-millisievert limit is maintained.

The proposal requires nuclear plant operators get prior consent from workers who might have to deal with such a situation.

It also requires the operators provide the workers with training on protective gear and other radiation precautions.

The labor ministry plans to revise regulations on worker safety based on the report.

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