A 40-year-old unnamed man who obviously got exposed to radiation and subsequently developed cancer after working at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, will be compensated by the government according to the country’s Health and Labor Ministry.
The Fukushima nuclear plant was in March 2011 destroyed by a massive earthquake and a tsunami, causing radiation levels to rise to the highest. The man worked between October 2012 and December 2013 to install covers on damaged reactors at the plant before coming down with illness which was caused by exposure to radiation at the plant.
The man had worked in many other nuclear plants before working at Fukushima, and medical experts are expressing doubts whether his exposure to radiation at Fukushima was directly responsible for his leukemia, but the sensitivity of the issue would not allow them to speak.
The man has an exposure of 19.8 millisievert that could have been received when he worked at Fukushima.
Since the exposure of this man is below the limit allowed for nuclear workers, his case could indicate that workers who worked at the plant are at risk of future cancers, and the government is trying to do something about it.
Japan uses 100 millisievert as the benchmark for knowing those evacuees that should be allowed to return to their homes close to the nuclear plant. About 170 employees were exposed to radiation with levels exceeding 100 millisievert and this is the level known to fuel risks of developing cancer.
Many workers who worked at the plant have died from injuries or developed serious illnesses like heart attacks and heat stroke, but no particular deaths have been linked directly to radiation exposure at Fukushima.
It can be difficult to determine if any patient having cancer is exposed to radiation, but there are lots of children in Fukushima coming down with thyroid cancer now and experts believe living very close to the plant might be an indirect cause.
About 45,000 workers have labored to clean-up the plant at Fukushima which is owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Co., and which operates the plant. It is recommended that workers be adequately protected to prevent exposure to radiation.