Fukushima Prefecture has taken steps to facilitate the re-examination of children found with lumps in their thyroid glands following the 2011 nuclear crisis.
Only one hospital had been conducting the re-examination in the prefecture in northeastern Japan.
The prefectural government has added 2 more hospitals to carry out the examinations. One started work on Wednesday and examined 5 children. The other is to follow on Friday.
Prefectural officials took the step because only one-third of the children requiring re-examination have been able to undergo the procedure.
Fukushima is conducting regular checks of the thyroid glands of 360,000 people who were 18 or younger when the nuclear crisis began.
That's out of concern that radioactive materials emitted by the damaged reactors could accumulate in children's thyroids, possibly causing cancer.
Children found with a lump 5.1 millimeters or larger are supposed to undergo a thorough recheck. That includes an ultrasound examination and blood and urine tests.
The re-examination is taking time. As of the end of March, only one-third of about 1,100 children had been re-examined.
A doctor involved in the examinations expressed hope that the expanded program will help residents feel more at ease over their health.
Jul. 24, 2013 - Updated 10:23 UTC
(Editor's note) It sounded like they appear to be doing something but unless they take longer time to examine the children, they won't be able detect cysts as much as they meant to detect.