TEPCO hikes radiation limits as workers’ exposure rises

Tokyo Electric Power Company said some workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have already been exposed to more than 100 millisieverts and that the company, citing the unprecedented nature of the crisis, has raised the limit to 150 millisieverts for some outdoor workers.

After a single acute exposure of 1,000 millisieverts, people tend to start feeling nauseated and vomiting, Frey said. At 5,000 millisieverts over the course of a few hours, “people start dying.”
After exposure to 150 millisieverts per day, “you’re definitely in the range where you have significantly increased risk of radiation-induced cancers.”

For work involving recovery and restoration in an emergency operation, the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends no more than 50 millisieverts in any given year. But in cases where the lives of a great number of people may be at stake, the ICRP says it recommends no restriction on dose as long as “the benefit to others clearly outweighs the rescuer’s risk.”

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