Japanese authorities have confirmed the first case of cancer due to radiation exposure of an employee of the Fukushima power plant, which suffered a meltdown in three of its six reactors 2011, local media reported Tuesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the NHK broadcaster, citing the country’s Labor Ministry, the employee took part in recovery and cleanup work after the reactor meltdowns. The man has been diagnosed with leukemia, brought on by radiation exposure.
Over 44,000 people have taken part in decommissioning the plant, according to NHK.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred on March 11, 2011, after a devastating tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake offshore, engulfed the area. Several coolant systems failed resulting in multiple hydrogen-air chemical explosions. Three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors melted down and radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and sea. The radioactive leaks continue to present day.
According to previous estimates, the ongoing cleanup, including dismantling the plant's reactors and mitigating the effects of poisons on the surrounding environment, is projected to take at least 40 years.
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