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

A case of industrial accident

October 20, 2015

Ex-Fukushima worker's leukemia certified as industrial accident



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The health ministry certified a man with leukemia on Tuesday as having suffered an industrial accident and being entitled to benefits after he was exposed to radiation as a construction worker at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The man in his 40s has become the first person to receive the certification for developing the illness stemming from the triple reactor meltdowns at the complex in the wake of a powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

He was involved in work to install covers for damaged reactor buildings at the plant between October 2012 and December 2013 before being diagnosed with leukemia, according to the ministry. He developed the disease while in his 30s.

"While the causal link between his exposure to radiation and his illness is unclear, we certified him from the standpoint of worker compensation," said an official of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Workers who are injured or become ill due to work or commuting can receive benefits under the nation's Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance. To receive compensation, they must submit claims to a labor standards inspection office, which will examine and pass judgment on them.

For leukemia to be certified as an industrial accident caused by radiation exposure, a claimant must meet some requirements, such as being exposed to radiation of at least 5 millisieverts times the number of years of such exposure, and having developed the illness more than a year after they were first exposed to radiation.

In the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. installed covers over the damaged reactor buildings to prevent the further dispersal of radioactive material.






October 20, 2015


Fukushima worker to get cancer compensation



Oct. 20, 2015 - Updated 11:02 UTC+2

Japan's labor ministry says it will provide compensation to a man confirmed to have developed cancer as a result of working at nuclear power plants including Fukushima Daiichi.

The man was in his late 30s when he worked from November 2011 to December 2013 at various nuclear plants. They include the Fukushima Daiichi plant that suffered a meltdown in March 2011.

The labor ministry says the man discovered he had the illness after quitting his job at Fukushima Daiichi. He applied for compensation granted to workers suffering from work-related illnesses.

The ministry decided to accept the application and notified him of the decision on Tuesday.
Ministry experts determined that he was likely to have contracted leukemia following cleanup work at Fukushima Daiichi. They found he had been exposed to a total of 19.8 millisieverts of radiation from his work at various plants. He was exposed to 15.7 millisieverts at the Fukushima plant.

Compensation is granted if a nuclear power plant worker has been exposed to annual radiation of 5 milliseverts and has developed cancer more than a year afterward.

Ministry officials say that so far, 13 nuclear plant workers have been granted compensation for work-related cancer. This is the first such case involving the Fukushima plant.

About 45,000 people have been involved in work at the Fukushima plant since the accident. More than 21,000 of them have been exposed to annual radiation levels of 5 millisieverts.


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