Reporting from Tokyo — Two workers at Japan's stricken nuclear facility were hospitalized Thursday after being exposed to high levels of radiation, officials at the nation's nuclear safety agency said. A third worker was also exposed but did not require hospitalization.
The two hospitalized workers were exposed to 170-180 millisieverts of radiation at reactor No. 3, officials said. The average American, by comparison, is exposed 6.2 millisieverts of radiation per year from natural sources, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Robert Peter Gale, an American hematologist consulting on health issues for the workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, said the incident was "not serious" but shows that accidental exposures were possible.
In the late afternoon, more workers were evacuated from Reactor No. 3, Kyodo news reported.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, consumers continued to clear store shelves of bottled water a day after the government warned that infants should not be allowed to consume tap water because elevated levels of radioactive iodine from Fukushima were detected at a water treatment plant.
Water tests in Tokyo on Tuesday and Wednesday found levels of radioactive iodine-131 about double the level deemed safe for infants under the age of 1. The levels were below the unsafe benchmark for adults. Although the government said the level dropped below the infant danger threshold Thursday and the warning was lifted, residents were cautious and the government was distributing bottled water to 80,000 households with infants younger than 12 months.