TOKYO (AP) — A utility spokesman says the former chief of Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has cancer but doctors do not believe it is related to radioactive exposure.
Masao Yoshida, who led the onsite effort to stabilize the plant after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, stepped down from his post on Dec. 1, citing health reasons.
His employer, Tokyo Electric Power Co., kept the details of his illness under wraps until Friday, when it confirmed he has esophageal cancer.
TEPCO spokesman Masato Yamaguchi says Yoshida was exposed to 70 milliseiverts of radiation after the crisis began. The legal limit for nuclear workers is 100 milliseiverts.
He said doctors believe Yoshida's cancer had been developing for at least five years and is unrelated to the crisis.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.