In Reporting Nuclear Crisis, Fears Of Exposure In Japan's Fukushima prefecture, some 10,000 people have been checked for exposure to radiation. That's after the nuclear plant there was severely damaged by last week's earthquake and the tsunami that followed.

In Reporting Nuclear Crisis, Fears Of Exposure

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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

NPR's Doualy Xaykaothao was concerned about her own safety reporting in the area, so she visited a doctor herself.

DOUALY XAYKAOTHAO: Doctor Masae Kokuban greets me with a kind, relaxed smile. She's with the Jusendo Clinic Koriyama City and appears very calm. When asked about the explosions at the nearby Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, she says she's worried about all the residents living near the facility, but also for her staff.

MASAE KOKUBAN: Yes, very much. Even in nurses who are staff in hospital is very worried about that. But they come to the hospital and work for the sick people. So we are now trying our best.

XAYKAOTHAO: She's relying on information that the government is giving about radiation.

KOKUBAN: One thing we can do is to believe it. The information we have now is it's still safe here in Koriyama.

XAYKAOTHAO: You're a doctor.

KOKUBAN: Yes.

XAYKAOTHAO: But you're not concerned that maybe there already is radiation leakage from the plant?

KOKUBAN: I, myself, also worrying about the radiation, of course. But my work is to be a doctor and I have to take care of the people, to explain radiation levels is safe for their health.

XAYKAOTHAO: I tell her I've been visiting various evacuation centers in the area near the exclusion zone designated by the government. So she suggests I visit a radiation contamination center to get checked.

(SOUNDBITE OF COUGHING)

XAYKAOTHAO: Unidentified Man #1: Japanese, huh?

XAYKAOTHAO: Unidentified Man #1: Oh, America.

XAYKAOTHAO: Unidentified Man #1: No problem.

XAYKAOTHAO: Unidentified Man #1: No.

XAYKAOTHAO: Unidentified Man #1: (Foreign language spoken)

CPM: Okay. He's saying if you just clean it, it'll be no problem. Your body count is a CPM. In CPM, is 500. Your jacket is 1,000 to 2,000. But your shoes are 10,000 CPMs. So you should clean them, wash them.

XAYKAOTHAO: Unidentified Man #1: Oh, mask? Oh, okay.

XAYKAOTHAO: Yeah?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

XAYKAOTHAO: Doualy Xaykaothao, NPR News, Koriyama City, Japan.

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