WHO : Post-Fukushima radiation levels in Japan 'low'
Published: 24th May 2012 12:03:54
Radiation levels in most of Japan are below cancer-causing levels a year after the Fukushima plant accident, a World Health Organisation (WHO) report published on Wednesday says.
Two areas near the plant have relatively higher doses of radiation, but radiation levels in surrounding countries are close to normal.
The preliminary report is part of a wider ongoing health assessment by WHO.
Fukushima nuclear plant was badly damaged in the 2011 Japan earthquake.
Separately a UN scientific committee said several workers at the plant had been "irradiated after contamination of their skin".
"Six workers have died since the accident but none of the deaths were linked to irradiation," said a statement issued on interim findings by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Radiation (UNSCEAR).
Namie town and Itate village, near the plant in eastern Japan, are exposed to radiation doses of 10-50 millisieverts (mSv), while the rest of Fukushima has radiation doses of 1-10 mSv, the WHO report said.
Most of Japan has doses of 0.1-1 mSv, while neighbouring countries have less than 0.01 mSv.
The report says that the dose levels outside Japan are below levels regarded by the international radiological protection community as "very small".
People are exposed on average to around 2 mSv of radiation a year from the natural environment, although there is considerable variation in this dose between individuals. The single-year limit for occupational exposure of workers is 50 mSv.
To avoid any underestimation of radiation levels, the report used conservative assumptions, and says some of the doses may have been overestimated.
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011 triggered a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing radiation leaks and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. WHO : Post-Fukushima radiation levels in Japan 'low' [Online] (Updated 24th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430718/WHO-Post-Fukushima-radiation-levels-in-Japan-low [Accessed 21st Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com