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Ukraine Gives Japan Dosimeters, Masks as Radiation Fears Persist

Ukraine is donating radiation measuring devices and gas masks to Japan as it battles the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl explosion in the former Soviet territory 25 years ago.

Ukraine’s government will supply 2,000 personal dosimeters and radiometers and 1,000 gas masks on Aug. 4 “at the request of the Japanese leadership,” the Ukrainian embassy in Tokyo said today in an e-mailed statement. A ceremony for the handover will be held on Aug. 9 in Fukushima city.

Nearly five months after an earthquake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station, public anxiety over radiation is rising as cases of food contamination increase. The concerns are compounded by a shortage of Geiger counters, also known as dosimeters.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. yesterday reported a reading of 10 sieverts per hour at the damaged plant, which is the maximum reading on the Geiger counter used at the site and the highest since the disaster began. A single dose of 10 sieverts would kill a person “within a few weeks,” according to the World Nuclear Association website.

Tepco, as the utility is also known, has been criticized by the government for withholding radiation data and undermining public trust. Radiation leaks from the Fukushima reactors have spread over 600 square kilometers and 160,000 people have been evacuated from near the plant.

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