Radioactivity detected in Fukushima worker's nose

Agence France-Presse
Radioactivity detected in Fukushima worker's nose
A general view shows the facilities of the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (back), as seen from Ukedo fishing port in Namie, Fukushima prefecture on August 24, 2023. Japan began releasing wastewater from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean on August 24 despite angry opposition from China and local fishermen.
AFP / Philip Fong

TOKYO, Japan — A worker at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant has had a high radiation level detected in his nose, authorities said, in a reminder of the hazards involved in cleaning up the facility crippled in 2011.

Radioactive materials may have touched the worker's face on Monday as he took off a full-face mask after finishing his work, operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said Thursday.

The employee was not experiencing any adverse health effects and a full body scan showed no internal contamination, but a full analysis will be available next month, TEPCO said.

It was the second such incident in three months after four workers were splashed with water containing radioactive materials in October, with two of them hospitalised as a precaution.

The nuclear power facility was wrecked by a huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that killed 18,000 people. It was one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

The clean-up operation is expected to take decades, with the most dangerous part -- removing radioactive fuel and rubble from three stricken reactors -- yet to begin.

In August, Japan began releasing into the Pacific the equivalent of 540 Olympic swimming pools worth of treated wastewater that has been collected since the catastrophe.

Tokyo insists that the water is harmless, a view backed by the UN atomic watchdog, but China and Russia have banned Japanese seafood imports.

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