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Japan's worst nuclear accident leave two fighting for life

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 09 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:942
  1. Joe Lamar
  1. Tokyo

    Forty nine people were exposed to radiation—two with a potentially lethal dose—after Japan's worst nuclear accident struck a uranium processing plant on 30 September.

    The accident occurred at a facility run by JCO, an affiliate of Sumitomo Metal Mining, in Tokaimura, 70 miles north west of Tokyo, as a result of an attempted short cut.

    In the process of purifying reactor fuel, workers were supposed to use an automatic pump to mix up to 2.4 kg of enriched uranium with nitric acid Instead, they manually used a stainless steel bucket and mixed 16 kg of the fissile …

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