Free cancer screening for Fukushima plant limited

Featured - November 23rd, 2012

Free cancer screenings for nuclear plant workers have been limited to a few despite the large number of employees exposed to high levels of radiation following the Fukushima meltdown in 2011.

According to Asahi Shimbun, only 3.7% or 904 among 24,118 who have worked at the facility since the onset of the disaster in March 2011 to September this year were eligible for free checks.

The health ministry also previously established a system that offers free lifetime cancer screenings once a year to those who have been exposed to more than 100 millisieverts but was halted.

Under the current system for free checks, workers are not eligible unless they have a figure exceeding 50 millisieverts. Still, 24 workers were found to have a total radiation exposure of more than 50 millisieverts but only 22 of them were eligible for examinations. TEPCO said it would still provide consultation for workers worried about their health.