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» 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.


<Media Report>

Ex-Fukushima worker’s leukemia certified as industrial accident (The Mainichi/Kyodo)

Fukushima No. 1 worker’s leukemia officially deemed a work accident (The Japan Times/Kyodo)

 Ex-Fukushima nuclear plant worker confirmed to have cancer (AP)

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