Fukushima Worker Dies - Officials in Japan have confirmed that a Fukushima worker dies, but it wasn’t from radiation. He was employed at the nuclear power plant that was helping in the repair effort after the earthquake and tsunami crises. At first, residents believed it was from the radiation that leaked into Japan’s air and soil.
The plant operator TEPCO said the worker collapsed and lost consciousness during work in transporting of waste materials from the nuclear plant. The man was taken to the Iwaki hospital, where he was declared dead. He was between the age of 60 and 70.
The worker was an employee of a sub-contracting company helping in the cleanup efforts at the nuclear plant and not a plant employee. Measurements taken had turned up no traces of radioactive substances on the man, nor were there any signs of an injury, leading to an initial conclusion that he may have died of exhaustion. He had just begun working at the nuclear plant on Friday and was wearing protective clothing at the time of the incident.
The first death at Fukushima comes amid concerns about the health hazards faced by workers and technicians exposed to high levels of radiation while involved in the efforts to repair the damaged nuclear reactors in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake. Meanwhile in Shizuoka prefecture in central Japan, Chubu Electric Co shut reactor five on Saturday amid concerns over its location near a fault line in Shizuoka prefecture. Reactor four was shut down Friday, Japanese media reported.
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