Medical checkup subsidy halted for nuclear plant workers
News On Japan via NHKReloaded -- Sep 13
The Japanese health ministry's halt to subsidies for medical checkups for some subcontracted workers at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is making it difficult for some of them to continue having regular checkups.
The financial support was stopped last December after the government declared that the reactors had been stabilized.
The ministry designated efforts to bring the reactors at the plant under control as "emergency work," as workers were at risk of being exposed to high levels of radiation.
Workers are required to have checks for cataracts when their cumulative radiation exceeds 50 millisieverts and regular cancer tests at more than 100 millisieverts.
Cataracts can be a delayed effect of radiation exposure.
The ministry set up a subsidy program for subcontractors to help their employees have the checkups.
After the government's declaration, it removed the designation and disqualified workers from receiving the subsidy if their cumulative level did not exceed the criteria at that time. Newly employed workers are not covered either.
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