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Supporters rally in defense of Fukushima nuclear worker

About 50 supporters of a nuclear power-plant worker with myeloid leukemia gathered outside the Tokyo courthouse on Thursday. (ANJ photo)
About 50 supporters of a nuclear power-plant worker with myeloid leukemia gathered outside the Tokyo courthouse on Thursday. (ANJ photo)
About 50 supporters of a nuclear power-plant worker with myeloid leukemia gathered outside the Tokyo courthouse on Thursday. (ANJ photo)
About 50 supporters of a nuclear power-plant worker with myeloid leukemia gathered outside the Tokyo courthouse on Thursday. (ANJ photo)
About 50 supporters of a nuclear power-plant worker with myeloid leukemia gathered outside the Tokyo courthouse on Thursday. (ANJ photo)
About 50 supporters of a nuclear power-plant worker with myeloid leukemia gathered outside the Tokyo courthouse on Thursday. (ANJ photo)
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08 Apr 2021 11:04:04 GMT9
08 Apr 2021 11:04:04 GMT9

Pierre Boutier

TOKYO: About 50 supporters of a nuclear power-plant worker with myeloid leukemia gathered outside the Tokyo courthouse on Thursday for a court hearing, the 17th in what is called “The case of Arakabu.”

Arakabu is a nuclear worker who worked at the Fukushima Daini plant from October 2011 until January 2012 and then at the Genkai plant in southern Japan. His job at the Fukushima plant consisted of waterproofing and welding.

He and his defense team believe he was contaminated during this work.

In 2013, he developed symptoms of leukemia and in 2014 his doctor diagnosed him with myeloid leukemia which could have been fatal if he had not had a bone marrow transplant.

The Ministry of Labor and Health recognized the cause-and-effect relationship between exposure to radioactivity and his illness but the operator, Tepco, refused his request for recognition of occupational disease.

Tepco said his cumulative annual exposure dose remained below 20 millisieverts per year.

The defense team made readings of radioactivity near the power plant and made models to understand the level of radioactivity in 2011, the year of the Fukushima Daiichi plant explosion, to establish causal links between the radioactivity and Arakabu’s illness.

Although Tepco provided readings from the post near where Arakabu worked, his defense team found that the radioactivity was actually higher.

Arakabu has been fighting his two previous employers, Tepco and Kyushu Electric, for recognition of occupational disease and financial compensation.

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