Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ministry of Health: One Former Worker of #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Has Applied for Workers' Compensation As He Developed Cancer

The Ministry of Health and Welfare also announced the new guideline (link in Japanese) for 3 types of cancer (stomach, esophagus, colon) for evaluating the application for workers' compensations from radiation workers:

  • Cumulative radiation exposure of 100 millisieverts or more;

  • 5 years or more from the start of the work and the onset of the disease.

Applying this new guideline, Mr. Masao Yoshida, ex-plant manager of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant who developed an esophagus cancer will not qualify. His cumulative radiation exposure is supposed to be 70 millisieverts, and his health check prior to the accident didn't reveal he had a cancer.

From Nikkei Shinbun (9/28/2012):

放射線業務でがん発症、労災認定に目安 厚労省公表

Ministry of Health and Welfare announces guideline for evaluation of workers' accident compensations when workers develop cancer in the course of radiation work


On September 28, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced the guideline for evaluation of three types of cancers, stomach, esophagus, and colon, when evaluating the applications for workers' accident compensations by radiation workers at nuclear power plants and medical facilities. The main points in the guideline include 'cumulative radiation exposure of 100 millisieverts and higher', '5 years or more between the start of the work and the onset of the cancer. There was no guideline for these cancers to determine the relationship between the radiation work and the onset of the diseases.


Upon receiving the application from two people who claim they developed cancer because of their work at nuclear power plants, the Ministry's committee compiled the guideline from the past epidemiological studies. One person developed two types of cancer, and submitted the application on December 2009. The other person developed one type of cancer, and submitted the application in February last year. The Ministry hasn't disclosed the name of the cancer or whether the applications have been approved or not.


The Ministry also disclosed that a worker who had worked in the restoration work during the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident submitted the application for workers' compensation this month, claiming he developed a cancer. According to the Ministry, it is the first time that a worker at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant has submitted the application because of cancer after the March 11, 2011 disaster.

In case of workers at nuclear power plants, particularly those workers who hop from one plant to another doing maintenance work, cumulative radiation exposure of 100 millisieverts may not mean much at all, because the official numbers on their radiation worker handbooks may not mean much at all. But when it comes to official compensations, what matters is what's officially on the books, and their claims may be rejected as the "official" numbers may be well below 100 millisieverts.


Anonymous said...

Fucking disgusting. But expected.

Is it any surprise that humans are so quick to discard and forget the heroes that saved them from humanity's greatest failures?

It's not enough that people don't learn from their mistakes, they sweep our saviors under the carpet along with them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, wanted to write a little more:

This reminds me of how the U.S. just let the 9/11 first responders curl up and die, or how all countries are letting their war veterans suffer and suicide. Governments love to set examples like this.

If everyone knew that taking these kinds of jobs to save humanity would result in the government quietly disposing of them as soon as things calm down, nobody would lift a finger to help.

Sooner or later, we'll have a disaster that nobody will volunteer to help, and then we'll be completely screwed.

Politicians and big businesses are the ones who should be thrown to the lions first, because they're often the ones responsible for every mess, if not constantly getting in the way of rescue and cleanup efforts. Of course, since they're the ones in charge, there's no way any of them would sacrifice themselves for the greater good of humanity.

It disgusts me to no end how they're always sitting all safe and comfy in their huge mansions, while the rest of the world saves their ass. My mother likes to justify that by arguing "they worked hard to earn their wealth!" Yeah... by causing the disasters, and then letting us die trying to fix them. It's a sure-fire way to eliminate all the competition and make even more piles of moolah!

Anonymous said...

Cannon fodder is seldom paid well, seldom taken care of when not useful anymore.

Anonymous said...

TEPCO will soon find a LOT of whistle blowers telling the "real story".. Its hard to threaten someone who already has been given a death sentence. Agree with above comments, while they will always have "cheap" labor from the uninformed/poorly educated, that is not a very reliable work force!

Anonymous said...

I see they aren't looking for the most common form of radiation induced cancer which is leukemia. The cumulative radiation exposure of 100 millisieverts or more rule is how the industry skews low level exposure rates. You'd be surprised how little data you'll find when you don't look.

As for whistle blowers Chernobyl was full of them it didn't change the IAEA's official "everything is fine, only a handful of people died" outlook on the tragedy. There are thousands of negative reports done by local doctors that have been buried, ignored or simply left untranslated/unpublished. You don't need to look any further than the case of Yury Bandazhevsky to see how whistle blowers are treated.

'According to many human rights groups Dr. Bandazhevsky was a prisoner of conscience. Amnesty International has stated on their website "His conviction was widely believed to be related to his scientific research into the Chernobyl catastrophe and his open criticism of the official response to the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster on people living in the region of Gomel." His arrest came soon after he published reports critical of the official research being conducted into the Chernobyl incident.'

Even in the age of the internet I don't hold out much hope for Japanese whistle blowers when all it takes is a catchphrase like "baseless rumor" to dismiss their claim in many peoples eyes. You don't need to threaten dying people when you can just discredit and ignore them.

Anonymous said...

Of course they aren't looking. How are they going to explain the results if they actually looked for it? Easier to just not do anything.


Anonymous said...

Here is a better link about Dr. Bandazhevsky's plight.

"The European Union, or EU, representatives, who are part of the EU's Minsk diplomatic mission, are visiting regions of Gomel and Mogilev — the Belarusian districts most severely contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl explosion — from May 21 to 23, Bandazhevsky, the founder and chancellor of the Gomel State Medical Institute published in 1999 the results of years worth of research on the clinical consequences of cesium-137 — one of the most radioactive elements released by the disaster — impacts on human organism. His results showed that it leads to heart disease, cataract, early ageing and other maladies.

But his research jeopardized the Belarusian authorities' intention to recommence farming lands contaminated by Chernobyl. Just before his arrest in 1999, Bandazhevsky had harshly criticized official researches, sponsored by the Belarusian government, which allocated only 1bn roubles for "scientifically and practically useful research," and said the remaining scientific budget of 17bn was wasted. Bandazhevsky also argued that Belarus was engaged in a hidden scam of selling and exporting radioactive vegetables along with non-contaminated products — a practice he viewed as sheer folly.

Bandazhevsky's Research
Bandazhevsky and his wife Galina examined cardiograms of children and carried out series of autopsies in the forensic morgue in Gomel. The scientific results proved that, after the Chernobyl accident, cardiovascular system sickness rate increased by four times.

Prior to Bandazhevsky studies, increases of cesium-137 concentrations from 10 to 30 times in vital human organs were considered insignificant. He proved, however, that such concentrations lead to pathological abnormalities. For instance, a pathology can be seen when cesium is accumulated in a human organism at the rate of only 30-50 Bq/kg. Autopsies of one-year-old children in Gomel showed high levels of radiocesium in their organs — up to 6000 Bq/kg, which indicates a severe radioactive toxic syndrome, both among foetuses and newborn babies."

(see more at link note: site is multilingual)

Dr.Bandazhevsky recently gave a speech in Japan

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