Traces of plutonium in workers’ urine
Doctors say extremely small quantities of radioactive substances have been detected in the urine of 5 workers who were accidentally exposed to the materials early this month at a research facility north of Tokyo.
The incident took place on June 6th at a facility of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Oarai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. The workers were inspecting a nuclear fuel container when a bag inside suddenly burst, expelling radioactive powder.
The agency initially said as much as 22,000 becquerels of plutonium-239 were detected in the lungs of one of the workers. But they were discharged from hospital by Tuesday of last week after repeated examinations at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences detected no plutonium in their lungs.
On Monday, the institute said checks of the 5 workers’ urine later revealed extremely small amounts of plutonium and other radioactive materials.
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