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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Bodies in the Hundreds wash ashore in quake-hit Japan

There are just too many bodies. Hundreds of dead have washed ashore on Japan’s devastated northeast coast since last week’s earthquake and tsunami. Others were dug out of the debris Monday by firefighters using pickaxes and chain saws.

Funeral homes and crematoriums are overwhelmed, and officials have run out of body bags and coffins.

Compounding the disaster, water levels dropped precipitously inside a Japanese nuclear reactor, twice leaving the uranium fuel rods completely exposed and raising the threat of a meltdown, hours after a hydrogen explosion tore through the building housing a different reactor.

On the economic front, Japan’s stock market plunged over the likelihood of huge losses by Japanese industries including big names such as Toyota and Honda.

While the official death toll rose to nearly 1,900, the discovery of the washed-up bodies and other reports of deaths suggest the true number is much higher. In Miyagi, the police chief has estimated 10,000 deaths in his province alone.

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