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‘No One Died From Radiation At Fukushima’: IAEA Boss Statement Met With Laughter At COP26   

‘No One Died From Radiation At Fukushima’: IAEA Boss Statement Met With Laughter At COP26, Forbes,    Sofia Lotto Persio Forbes Staff Sustainability I oversee sustainability coverage and curate the Daily Dozen. Nov 21,   The tsunami-triggered destruction of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 provoked a rethink of nuclear power across the world—and remains a sore spot for the industry even as it tries to champion its low-carbon energy source status to gain prominence in the fight against climate change. 

On Thursday, the day dedicated to discussing energy at the COP26 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was given a prominent spot, with director general Rafael Mariano Grossi being interviewed on stage by Financial Times journalist Gillian Tett. 

It was an opportunity for Grossi to highlight the benefits of nuclear power, its appeal as part of a country’s energy mix,  and dispel concerns about nuclear waste and safety, but his assertion that the multiple nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Okuma—which forced the evacuation of more than 160,000 residents—resulted in no deaths from exposure to radiation was met with skepticism from the audience………

For years since the disaster, Grossi’s statement held true. But in 2018, the Japanese government recognized the death of one Fukushima plant worker to be attributable to radiation exposure, disbursing compensation to his family. The worker, a man in his 50s who had spent nearly 29 years working at nuclear stations in Japan until September 2015, was in charge of measuring radiation at the Fukushima plant. In the period of December 2011 and September 2015, the amount of radiation he was exposed to more than doubled from roughly 34 millisieverts to around 74 millisieverts, as the Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported. The maximum level of radiation exposure workers should be exposed to is 100 millisieverts every five years—an annual exposure to that level of radiation is linked to an increase in cancer risk. The worker was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016 and died of the disease.

Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco) is still facing lawsuits for its failure to safeguard the nuclear complex. In February, the company and the Japanese government were ordered to pay $2.6 million in compensation to 43 evacuees for failing to enact preemptive measures against the disaster. Establishing a clear link between exposure radiation and cancer in a court of law can be more difficult. Tepco won one case in May because the plaintiff, who had worked on removing debris from the Fukushima complex between July and October 2011, developed three cancers between 2012 and 2013, whereas government guidelines stipulate the minimum latency period for a disease to develop following radiation exposure is five years….

November 6, 2021 - Posted by | deaths by radiation, Japan, legal

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