Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update (25 March 2011, 02.50 UTC)

As previously reported, three workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were exposed on 24 March to elevated levels of radiation. The IAEA has received additional information on the incident from the Japanese authorities.

The three were contracted workers laying cables in the turbine building of the Unit 3 reactor. Two of them were found to have radioactivity on their feet and legs.

These were washed in the attempt to remove radioactivity, but since there was a possibility of Beta-ray burning of the skin, the two were taken to the Fukushima University Hospital for examination and then transferred to Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences for further examination. They are expected to be monitored for around four days.

It is thought that the workers ignored their dosimeters' alarm believing it to be to be false and continued working with their feet in contaminated water.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) of Japan instructed TEPCO to review the radiation control system immediately in order to avoid similar incidents in the future.

As of 24 March, 19:30 Japan time, the number of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant found to have received more than 100 millisieverts of radiation dose totalled 17 including the three contract workers. The remaining fourteen are TEPCO's employees.