Saturday, June 10, 2017

Huh? Radiation Exposure Politics in Japan

A couple of days ago I blogged about workers' exposure to Plutonium, the element of death in Japan. Now the Japan Atomic Energy Agency is reversing its previous announcement, saying that workers were not contaminated internally by plutonium after all:
JAEA, citing new test, says no plutonium in lungs of worker: THE ASAHI SHIMBUN June 10, 2017 at 18:30 JST

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency now insists that none of the five workers exposed to radiation in an accident at a research center in Ibaraki Prefecture several days ago has plutonium in their lungs.  The stunning about-face follows a statement June 7 that a worker in his 50s had internal exposure of 22,000 bequerels of plutonium during a medical check after the accident at the JAEA's Oarai Research and Development Center in Oarai... The JAEA said it now suspects the initial reading resulted from the fact that plutonium was detected on the man's skin prior to him undergoing proper decontamination....

I recall that a similar reversal in the wake of 3/11 when residents and workers were found free of internal exposure after previous reports alleging the opposite.

Of course, as the article points out, it is difficult to detect plutonium atoms that have been inhaled or ingested.

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