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Off-clock radiation exposure ignored via The Japan Times Online

The health ministry is not calculating how much radiation workers at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant absorbed after they evacuated or while off the clock, casting doubt on the adequacy of the current radiation control regime.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry also does not intend to assess radiation exposure for workers engaged in decontamination efforts around the badly damaged plant in Fukushima Prefecture, government officials and supporters of the workers said Saturday.

The 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 officials said the ministry takes the position 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.

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