Five workers at a nuclear research facility in east Japan were exposed to radioactive material on Tuesday after a bag that contained it burst, the plant’s state-run operator said. Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) said in a statement the incident occurred during a check on radioactive storage inside a “controlled” room at the facility in Oarai, with no radioactive material leaking outside. Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of the regulator Nuclear Regulation Authority, in a weekly news conference on Wednesday criticised JAEA for not being more careful and said the level of exposure within the room where the accident happened was “high”. Up to 22,000 becquerels of radioactive materials were detected in the lungs of one of the workers, JAEA said. That could potentially expose him to levels of radiation many times higher than most people over the coming decades. A JAEA spokesman who declined to be named said the material in that worker’s lungs was plutonium, marking the highest such measurement for plutonium from any atomic accident in the country.
Reuters 7th June 2017 read more »
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