"To Work at Fukushima, You Have to Be Ready to Die"
But it was this bit that caught my eye.
Why has the Japanese minister of health decided to raise the legal dose to be received by workers?
Paul Jobin. Since 2002, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recommends that an annual dose for nuclear workers not exceed 20 millisieverts (mSv) per year. But even in normal times, workers receive large doses, with consequences that are systematically denied or minimized.
In Japan, legislation has accommodated the standard of 20 mSv per year for workers, stipulating that the dose can be calculated as an average over a five year period, with a maximum of 100 mSv during any two years. But as of March 19, probably because they can not recruit enough people to intervene, TEPCO asked to boost the maximum dose to 150 mSv, and the Ministry of Health went further, raising it to 250 mSv — this perhaps to limit the number of possible applications for recognition of occupational disease.
On Thursday, March 31, the Nuclear Safety Agency (Nisa) announced that 21 workers had received doses above 100 mSv, but that none had exceeded 250, as if this meant they could escape without too much damage, when even the International Atomic Energy Agency believes that the situation remains "very serious" in Fukushima. And in fact, dose rates are now such (up to 1000 mSv per hour on Saturday, April 2) that intervention near the reactor seems impossible. more