via NHK World / July 10, 2014 / Japan’s nuclear regulator says it will consider revisions to a law for protecting nuclear plant workers’ health in emergencies.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority expressed the intent for the first time in response to a call from a Tokyo-based organization that addresses labor problems.

In a meeting with NRA officials on Thursday, representatives from the Tokyo Occupational Safety&Health Center stressed that the revision is vital for ensuring that nuclear plant workers are better prepared for emergencies.

They also said such workers must be informed of how radiation exposure could affect their health and decide in advance whether to give consent.

NRA officials said they will consult relevant ministries and agencies on the issue. The officials said it’s significant for workers to think about what the maximum permissible exposure level should be and whether they can accept it.

Under the current law, the cumulative exposure limit for workers responding to nuclear emergencies is 100 millisieverts.

4 days after the nuclear accident at Fukushima, the government raised the state limit for workers at the plant to 250 millisieverts after many of them were found to have been exposed to radiation above the original limit. The government kept the limit for the following 9 months.

The NRA’s reaction is the first positive move made by nuclear officials in negotiations that started 3 years ago. The agency had maintained that it is not in charge.

 

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