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Japan report on Chernobyl disaster's health effects to be publicly released

A 50-million-yen Japanese government report on the health effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe that was not released to the general public will be released in the near future, the secretariat of Japan's nuclear watchdog said on June 7.

The Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) indicated at a news conference on June 7 that the report would be released on the secretariat's website. The secretariat will also comply with related requests for information disclosure that it had previously not accepted, it said.

The government's investigation into the aftereffects of the Chernobyl disaster was budgeted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It was carried out between November 2012 and March 2013 -- after the Fukushima meltdowns in 2011 -- at a cost of 50 million yen.

The NRA secretariat, which took over the role of handling the survey in April 2013, placed it in the National Diet Library without publicly releasing it, drawing criticism from experts in information disclosure.

"It was inappropriate as a way of releasing it," a secretariat representative said.

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