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Shortage of workers at Fukushima nuclear plant resulted in high radiation exposure

Worker shortages revealed at nuclear plant after disaster   14 Jan
A manager’s calls for reinforcements to help contain a series of
crises at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power
plant were ignored, newly released TEPCO teleconference footage has

Although Masao Yoshida, then manager of the plant damaged by the March
11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, repeatedly asked TEPCO headquarters
in Tokyo to send more workers, the request was not met in a timely
manner. As a result, the plant’s workers suffered extreme fatigue and
heightened radiation exposure, the footage showed.

On the morning of March 16, 2011, five days after the start of the
crisis, the plant reported to headquarters that it had 177 TEPCO
employees and four workers on staff from TEPCO partner companies.

Hydrogen explosions occurred at the No. 1 reactor building on March
12, at the No. 3 reactor building on March 14 and the No. 4 reactor
building on March 15.

As the condition of the No. 2 reactor continued to deteriorate, many
workers had already been evacuated, with only about 70 remaining.

The number of workers then started to recover, but Yoshida continued
to feel there were shortages in manpower.”Don’t expect extra workers
from the plant.” This was the reply Yoshida gave when asked by the
headquarters to provide workers as drivers for vehicles to transport
equipment to fix a motor and power panels flooded with seawater.

In the early morning of March 17, Yoshida asked the headquarters to
realize there was a limited number of workers at the plant to carry
out operations to bring the nuclear crisis under control.

The next morning, his patience finally ran out. “I can no longer force
my employees to continue working,” Yoshida declared, saying many of
them had received high doses of radiation.

January 14, 2013 - Posted by | - Fukushima 2011, employment, Japan

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