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Nuclear regulator to compile treatment manual via NHK World-Japan

Japan’s nuclear watchdog says it is creating a manual with a wide range of treatments for accidental exposures to radiation, the first of its kind.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority says it decided to compile the manual because the use of radioactive materials in medicine and industry is growing.

Such materials are not only being used at nuclear power plants and related facilities, but also in radiotherapy for cancer treatment and for the internal testing of industrial products.

The watchdog has asked the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, a government-funded institute in charge of research of such treatments, to compile it.

It says the manual will also draw on guidelines created by the International Atomic Energy Agency and contain the latest information about treatment in cases of accidental exposure in Japan as well as in other countries.

It will also include examples of symptoms typically shown by patients and details on the types of drugs that should be taken as well as the right timing to administer them.

It will cover everything from high-level exposure, such as in criticality accidents, to low-level exposure, as well as the inhalation of radioactive materials.

Japan experienced its first fatal nuclear criticality accident in 1999 when two workers died at a fuel processing plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

University of Tokyo Professor Emeritus Kazuhiko Maekawa who treated the workers at the time notes that some European countries have created medical manuals envisioning nuclear terrorist attacks.

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