Two workers who have been battling the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan may have been overexposed to radiation, the Japanese government said on Monday.
The two men, who work for Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)—the operator of the problematic Fukushima nuclear power plant—are speculated to have cumulative exposures of several hundred millisieverts, far above the 250-millisievert legal limit set for working during a nuclear crisis, according to Kyodo News.
In a measurement on May 23, the two workers’ thyroid glands were found to have absorbed 10 times more radioactive iodine-131 than other workers.
Even so, a TEPCO official said that the two men, one in his 30s and the other in his 40s, are “not at a stage that would require emergency medical treatment,” Kyodo News reported.
They have been at the plant since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered Japan’s nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.Usually, the limit for each worker is 100 millisieverts, yet during emergency work, the government raised the limit to 250 millisieverts.
The National Institute of Radiological Sciences is planning to conduct a detailed assessment of the workers’ internal exposure to determine their overall exposure.