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Fukushima Workers Exposed to Radiation From Spray

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Ten workers at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant were exposed to radiation from contaminated mist used to cool temperatures near a quake-proof building, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The workers were waiting for a bus when they were sprayed, according to Tepco, as the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant’s operator is known. It was unknown how the mist became contaminated, Tepco said in an e-mailed statement.

The workers’ exposure above the neck was found to be as much as 10 becquerels per square centimeter. They were ordered to receive full body scans, which can detect exposure to their inner organs.

The contamination is the latest complication to arise as part of the cleanup of the Dai-Ichi plant, which suffered meltdowns as a result of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Government officials said last week that at least 300 tons of radiated water was flowing from the plant into the ocean each day.

The workers’ exposure was detected by a radiation monitor, according to Tepco. The mist was turned off and workers at the building were prohibited from using tap water, which comes from the same source as the mist.

Earlier today, Tepco reported that an alarm sounded at a dust monitor near the building, indicating high concentrations of radioactivity. No significant changes to other plant readings were found, Tepco said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jacob Adelman in Tokyo at jadelman1@bloomberg.net; Yuji Okada in Tokyo at yokada6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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