Following Dr. Wade Allison (1 sievert/year is safe) and Dr. Theodore Rockwell ("Let people of Fukushima return!") here's Dr. Robert Peter Gale, who actually went to Fukushima Prefecture at least and told the workers at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant not to worry too much and not be caught in a radiation "hysteria".
Dr. Gale tells a worker who's getting 1.67 millisievert every 2 hours that it's OK up to 250 millisieverts under the circumstances.
The Vanity Fair magazine article doesn't say under what circumstance Dr. Gale went to Fukushima. I can't figure out the reason why Vanity Fair wrote this article either.
From Vanity Fair January issue "Heroes of the Hot Zone" by Pico Iyer:
Ever since the tsunami triggered a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last March, Japanese workers—some 18,000 to date—have been heading into the radioactive exclusion zone to work on the cleanup. Pico Iyer trails radiation expert Dr. Robert Gale, a veteran of Chernobyl and nearly every major nuclear disaster since, to learn who these anonymous heroes in HAZMAT suits are, what motivates them, and the danger they calmly accept. In addition, photographer James Nachtwey gets rare portraits of some of these brave workers.
he three men, all in their 30s, might be any construction workers knocking back Sapporos at a tiny izakaya, or neighborhood bar. Around them is the friendly clutter of any small, working-class drinking place in Japan. Fading calendar portraits of a favorite singer fill every last inch of wall space not given over to bright posters for ocean resorts, photos of kimonoed actresses striking classical poses, or plaques on which celebrities have inscribed their autographs. There’s even a framed snapshot of the old-broad proprietress next to the celebrated tough-guy director and TV star Beat Takeshi.
One patron is missing many of his teeth and has the intense, staring eyes of the slightly too ferocious guerrilla in a samurai movie. Clad in a blue tracksuit and tennis shoes, 34-year-old Hideyaki Kusumoto leans forward and addresses practically the only foreigner to be seen in the town—a small, trim man, dressed in a summery pink sweater and Stabilicore running shoes, with a deep tan and gray appearing along the sides of his thin reddish hair.
“Doctor, I know about the workers in Chernobyl who’ve suffered. Am I at risk?”
“It takes about 30 or 40 years to get cancer from radiation, except among children,” the visiting American says in the calm, clarifying tones of a seasoned physician. “So if workers from Chernobyl have cancer now, it’s probably not because of radiation.”
“But I’m working in a place where the radiation is really high,” says a colleague in thick black glasses, 30-year-old Masaya Ishikawa. “I work two hours a day. I get 1.67 millisieverts every two hours.”
He pulls from his wallet a sheaf of tiny white receipts on which his daily radiation dose at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, crippled by the earthquake and tsunami of last March, is given to him every day. “I know that cancer will appear only 30 or 40 years later, but what about other diseases? What’s the maximum exposure I should get? At what levels of radiation do the white blood cells start decreasing?”
“About 1,000 millisieverts,” says Robert Gale, a hematologist, oncologist, and expert on bone-marrow transplants who has become one of the strongest voices for the controversial position that fear about radiation at Fukushima is overblown.
“So, 250 millisieverts is O.K.?”
“It’s O.K. under these circumstances. But it’s best not to go over that.”
The doors slide open, admitting the warmth of a late-October evening, and two older men dressed all in black, with white shirts and black ties—the kind of dress the Japanese usually favor only for funerals—come in, take the last two seats at the bar, and order Kirins.
Kusumoto leans forward again, well into his third or fourth beer, and says to his new friend, “When you were at Chernobyl, were they wearing protective suits? Should we?”
“You need a balance,” replies the doctor, who has come today for the first time to the hot-springs resort of Iwaki Yumoto, just outside the “exclusion zone” that encircles the nuclear plant with a radius of 12 miles now. “We started out wearing the radiation-protective suits in Chernobyl, but it made us move very slowly, because they’re so heavy. So people ended up getting more radiation because they were wearing these heavy clothes. It was better to work very fast, without protection, than very slowly with protection. In the end, we didn’t wear any protective clothing.”
Ishikawa has already said that he’s come up to work here, helping to clean up the stricken plant, in part because he remembers the earthquake that hit his hometown of Kobe in 1995, killing more than 6,000 people. “Of course the salary is good,” he says, “but I also felt, as a former victim of an earthquake, I should help.”
Now he eyes the doctor again.
“Can my work here affect my family members and friends?”
“A good question. The answer is no.”
“Good. I have four children.”
“The radiation goes through you,” Gale explains. “So when you go home, none of this will affect them. They’re completely safe.”
He pauses for a moment. “We have to think of two kinds of radiation,” he goes on. “This mug of beer is radioactive. Radiation is coming from me. That’s one kind, the most important kind, which is internal. There’s another kind that gets on our skin and is only external. That’s not so important, though it looks as if it should be.”
“It’s like these clothes, right?”
“Great! I’m sorry to ask you this. But some friends of mine from Osaka are coming up here to work, and I feel responsible for them.”
(The article continues at the link.)