2 at Japan plant in radiation peril
TOKYO - Two nuclear plant workers have exceeded Japan's radiation exposure limit for nuclear plant workers, and others who toiled without sufficient protection in the early days of the crisis at the tsunami-battered Fukushima Dai-ichi plant could show higher levels as well, the operator said Friday.
The two control-room operators are the first men to surpass the government-set limit of 250 millisieverts, Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for the Tokyo Electric Power Co., said.
The two are not showing immediate health problems, Matsumoto said. Their total exposure may be as high as 580 millisieverts - the equivalent of 1,000 abdominal X-rays, Matsumoto said. A massive single whole-body exposure of 500 millisieverts could decrease lymphocyte cells in some people, which would compromise their immune systems.
In the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires licensees to limit maximum radiation exposure to members of the public to 1 millisievert per year and occupational radiation exposure to workers in the industry to 50 millisieverts per year above background levels of radiation exposure. - AP
Nazi death-camp memorial is shut
WARSAW, Poland - An exhibition hall at the Nazi death camp of Sobibor, now a memorial site, has been shut and tours discontinued because of a lack of funds, a spokesman said Friday.
Marek Bem said talks were under way with the Culture Ministry to secure financing that would allow the hall to reopen next year. Experts believe 167,000 people were killed at the camp.
Sobibor, in a remote part of Poland, gets few visitors. Much of it was destroyed by the Nazis. An outdoor mound of ashes, plaques, and stone monuments to the victims remains accessible to visitors.
On May 12, a Munich, Germany, court found that John Demjanjuk, a former Ohio autoworker, served as a guard at Sobibor. - AP
Ex-Mossad chief raps Netanyahu
JERUSALEM - The man who ran Israel's Mossad spy agency for eight years until January contends that the nation's top leaders lack judgment and that the anticipated pressures of international isolation as the Palestinians campaign for statehood could lead to rash decisions - such as an air strike on Iran.
Meir Dagan made headlines a few weeks ago when he told a Hebrew University conference that a military attack on Iran would be "a stupid idea."
This week Dagan, speaking at Tel Aviv University, said Israel had failed to put forward a peace initiative and had been foolish to ignore a Saudi peace initiative promising full diplomatic relations by all Arab nations if Israel returned to its 1967 lines.
On Thursday, in a leaked statement, he named Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, saying he believed his and other security chiefs' recent retirements had taken away a necessary alternative voice in decision-making. Netanyahu's office declined a response. - N.Y. Times News Service