Cancer diagnosis for Fukushima cleanup worker becomes first linked to disaster
The catastrophic meltdown of the nuclear plant in Fukushima occurred 4 years ago, and for much of that time there's been little official acknowledgement of how workers tasked with the initial cleanup were impacted.
On Monday, Japan's health ministry confirmed the first cancer diagnosis among that group.
The man, who spent about a year working at the plant following the disaster, is suffering from leukemia.
He is one of about a dozen workers who filed a compensation claim.
While the individual diagnosed will receive funds to cover lost wages and medical expenses, the health ministry doesn't necessarily acknowledge a direct connection between his illness and the work he did at the Fukishima site.
Said one official, "While the causal link between his exposure to radiation and his illness is unclear, we certified him from the standpoint of worker compensation."
A look back at the disaster: