The Fukushima nuclear power plant operators revealed on Friday that 1,973 of its plant workers have surpassed the 100-millisievert threshold of radiation exposure level, putting them at higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. TEPCO also said that they will provide for the employees’ annual ultrasonic thyroid examinations. People with prolonged and high dose radiation exposure are usually at risk of developing malignant tumours.
Following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, 19,592 employees were given health checks by TEPCO. These employees, 16,302 of which were from partner firms, were supposed to be monitored with resulting information reported to the World Health Organization. But among those given health checks, only 522 employees went through radiation dose assessment and reported to WHO. In February of this year, the health organization released information concerning the employees who have been exposed to radiation. The WHO said that there were 178 whose radiation levels were past 100 millisieverts. TEPCO estimated the number of remaining workers based on their radioactive cesium intake.
Besides the plant employees’ risk of having thyroid cancer, TEPCO also said on Friday that steam was spotted coming out of reactor no. 3 on Thursday through video footage. But during a Friday monitoring, at almost 8:00 AM, there was no steam-like gas seen. The plant operator suspected that rainwater may have entered the reactor building and have evaporated, looking like steam, because of the heat from the reactor’s containment vessel. The Nuclear Regulation Authority has also reported that there was no change found concerning the containment vessel’s temperature and radiation levels.
[via Courier Mail]