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Japan atomic plant worker in hospital

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A worker battling to cool overheating  reactors at Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear plant was taken to hospital on Sunday  after complaining of feeling sick, the plant’s operator said.

The man had no apparent injuries and it was not clear what had caused the  sudden illness, said a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), which runs  the stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant.

“A subcontractor, a man in his 30s, complained that he was feeling unwell  at around 11:10,” said the spokesman. “He was conscious but somewhat wobbly.  He could walk if assisted.

“He was transferred to a hospital. The cause of his sickness is not yet  known.”    The spokesman said the worker, who has not been identified, was one of 30  who had been laying a water exhaust hose outside the turbine building at  reactor No. 2.

Increasing amounts of highly radioactive water have been gathering in a  trench at the reactor, where workers successfully plugged a leak that had been  spewing badly contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.

The company has dumped more than 10,000 tonnes of low-level contaminated  water into the sea to free up storage space so they can begin draining the  trench.

Last month three workers working on the turbine in reactor No. 3 were  hospitalised after standing in highly radioactive water.

They were discharged a short time later, despite having been exposed to an  estimated 2,000 to 6,000 millisieverts of radiation on their feet.

Normally about half of people who receive a 5,000 millisieverts dose across  the entire body would be expected to die within a month.

Tokyo, April 10, 2011 (AFP)