by Whitney Webb, Activist Post:
Even though Fukushima was the worst environmental disaster to have taken place in the last 30 years, you probably haven’t heard much about it. After the Tohoku earthquake in eastern Japan and subsequent tsunami, one of the cooling systems at Fukushima’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) nuclear power plant failed. The result was a devastating triple reactor meltdown that led to the evacuation of over half a million people and the creation of a 20-kilometer exclusion zone.
Ever since the disaster, TEPCO as well as the Japanese government have consistently tried to downplay the disaster’s impacts nationally and globally. The collusion was so blatant that even TEPCO’s company president, Naomi Hirose, admitted that a “cover-up” had taken place.
Now, that is set to change. On Friday, Japan’s health ministry concluded that another worker, diagnosed with thyroid cancer three years ago, developed his illness due to radiation exposure during his time working for TEPCO. The man had worked at several nuclear power plants with the company between 1992 and 2012 and was present at the Fukushima plant during the disaster. The radiation present in the man’s body was found to be about 150 millisieverts, with 140 of which were believed to be a result of the 2011 disaster. This marks the first time that a former worker with thyroid cancer has won the right to work-related compensation as many other similar cases were previously rejected by the Japanese government.
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