The policy council of a Japanese ministry has endorsed plans by the nuclear regulator to increase the maximum annual radiation exposure limit for nuclear workers in emergencies to 250 millisieverts (mSv) per year from the current 100, the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) said.
The proposal would allow the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to set a special emergency dosage limit of up to 250 mSv for work such as responding to nuclear accidents at reactors, when it would be difficult to abide by the 100 mSv dosage limit. Jaif said the new regulation could be implemented in the next fiscal year, which begins in April 2016. According to recommendations by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, the annual dose limit for controlled nuclear workers or medical personnel is 20 mSv per year, but can reach 50 mSv per year in an exceptional year when the five-year average is not higher than 20 mSv per year. In light of the situation at Fukushima- Daiichi, Japan’s regulator had been considering increasing the limit in the event of another nuclear incident or emergency.