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22 June, 2015

Dosage Limit for Emergency Workers to Be Set at 250mSv

On June 18, the Labor Policy Council of Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare endorsed a proposal to revise the Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards. The proposal would allow the Ministry to set a "special emergency dosage limit" of up to 250mSv or so for such emergency work as responding to nuclear accidents at reactors, etc., when it would be difficult to abide by the 100mSv dosage limit.

The endorsement now passes to the Radiation Council, with a view of implementing the revision in the next fiscal year, which begins in April 2016.

Since the end of 2014, the Ministry had assigned a council of experts the task of looking into the health-care and dosage-management issues of workers engaged in emergency tasks related to the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi. The council drew up a report in May 2015, the findings of which were reflected in the endorsement of the ministerial ordinance revision this time, after consultations were made.

The revised regulations will limit the radiation dosages of emergency workers, optimizing the dosage-limit management, with confirmations, records and reports to be made of the results of dosage measurements. In addition, the regulations will deal with special education for such workers, as well as their health care.

As for revised regulations pertaining to so-called on-site responses, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) presented its conclusions in May that the dose level limit during emergency work ought to be set at 250mSv.

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