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6 more at N-plant got too much radiation

TOKYO -- Six more workers at the tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant may have exceeded the radiation exposure limit, bringing the total to eight, the government said yesterday.

The health and labor ministry said three men are control room operators at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant and the five others worked to restore power knocked out by the earth- quake and tsunami March 11.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator, said none of them was showing immediate health problems but they would have an increased risk of cancer. All eight have been transferred to desk jobs.

Tadashi Mori, a health ministry official in charge of occupational health, said the ministry plans to take "appropriate steps" over the violation when the results are confirmed.

Soon after the disaster, the government raised the radiation limit for men to 250 millisieverts from the standard 100 millisieverts so workers could tackle the emergency.

The newly confirmed six workers may have had exposures from about 265 millisieverts to 498 millisieverts, mostly while working at the plant March 12 when a hydrogen explosion heavily damaged the Unit 1 reactor building, company spokesman Junichi Matsumoto told a news conference. -- AP

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