TOKYO, May 1, Kyodo
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday that a female employee at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been exposed to radiation exceeding the legal limit of 5 millisieverts for a three-month period, becoming the second woman exposed to radiation beyond the limit.
The woman in her 40s has been exposed to a total of 7.49 millisieverts of radiation when she was working at the six-reactor complex following the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami which hit the plant, the utility operating the plant said.
TEPCO, as the firm is known, said Thursday that another of its female employees at the plant was exposed to radiation more than three times the limit.
This incident raises a very interesting point: Since school children outside of the exclusion zone are allowed a recent and upwardly revised 20 mSv/yr maximum allowable dose (essentially the same amount allowed for female Tepco nuclear employees), will these kids have their doses individually monitored also? Will they be pulled from school if they exceed 5mSv over a 3 month period, as is the practice with female nuclear employees when they exceed their doses?
I would expect the Japanese authorities to exhibit a greater sense of caution with the children. Their upper level limit is generous, to say the least. Parents should be informed of the statistical and potential risks associated with these exposures, and should be presented with other educational alternatives should they choose to opt out.
Update: Parents pissed