Fukushima worker dies after radiation exposure

Tokyo admits 1st death from Fukushima radiation exposure

Fukushima worker dies after radiation exposure

Japan has announced for the first time that a worker at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant died after suffering radiation exposure.

The announcement marks the government's first recognition of a fatality linked to radiation exposure at the facility since a triple core meltdown occurred there in March 2011.

In February 2016, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

After the March 2011 disaster triggered by the massive Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the worker, who was in his 50s, was exposed to roughly 34 millisieverts of radiation by December 2011.

Officials said the worker died from radiation poisoning.

The quake knocked out power to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the tsunami swamped diesel generators placed low in reactor buildings, leading to a series of explosions.

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(TEPCO) in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima has been confirmed as work-related, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on September 4. The timing of his death was withheld in accordance with his bereaved family's wishes, ministry officials explained.

The ministry had previously ruled exposure to radiation caused the illnesses of four workers at Fukushima, the official said.

Along with the four who had their claims accepted, five claims have been rejected.

The tsunami killed around 18,000 people and caused a failure in the nuclear plant's cooling system, resulting in a level seven meltdown and the release of radioactive materials.

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes. Notably, he was in charge of measuring radiation levels at the plant and its premises immediately after the incident, the Japanese media report.

Hokkaido's main airport - New Chitose - was badly damaged and closed, cutting access to the island, which is popular with tourists because of its mountains, lakes and seafood. The power plant suffered a severe meltdown during the devastating Tōhoku natural disaster and tsunami in 2011.

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