” At Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the number of workers exposed to high amounts of radiation in fiscal 2014 increased 1.5-fold from the year before, data from the utility showed Saturday.
A total of 992 workers, mostly employees at subcontractors, saw their radiation doses top 20 millisieverts in the year that ended in March. The previous year, the number of workers with such high external radiation exposure levels stood at 660, according to the data.
As the government limits Fukushima plant workers’ five-year radiation doses to 100 millisieverts per person, many of the workers could be barred from continuing at the plant.
Of those who topped the 20-millisievert threshold in fiscal 2014, only 11 are Tepco employees, while 981 are from subcontractors for the utility. The highest dose stood at 29.5 millisieverts for the Tepco employees and 39.85 millisieverts for the non-Tepco workers.
The data also showed that a total of 20,695 plant workers were exposed to radiation in fiscal 2014, with their doses averaging 4.99 millisieverts. The radiated workers’ numbers increased from the previous year’s 14,746 but the average dose declined from 5.25 millisieverts.
The number of radiation-exposed workers increased partly because the overall number of workers at the plant substantially rose from the previous year.
A public relations official at Tepco said the amount of decontamination and debris removal work in the high-radiation zones inside the plant is also on the rise, resulting in irradiation of more people. ”