FUKUSHIMA – The Fukushima Prefectural Government has confirmed in a new report that 50 children in the prefecture have developed thyroid cancer, an increase of 17 from previous study last December, sources said Monday.
The latest report, made Monday to an expert panel examining the results of health checkups on Fukushima residents, also detailed 39 children suspected of having developed cancer, sources said.
The cancer figure was taken at the end of March among Fukushima residents who were 18 or younger at the time of the March 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant.
After studying data provided so far, including the new cancer figures, the panel said it was difficult to determine that a causal link existed between the children’s cancers and the triple meltdown at the nuclear plant.
The Fukushima health examination program covers some 370,000 residents. Of them, some 80 percent have already received the checkups.
Once the results of the first round checkups become available, likely in August, the panel will again assess the thyroid cancer numbers and any possible connection between the cancers and the accident, the sources said.