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Get your fax right: Tepco workers accidentally spark Japan nuclear scare

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The No. 6 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, seen here, has remained shut for years amid a protracted safety vetting by the regulators.
June 20, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco) employees sparked a nuclear scare after a violent, late-night earthquake by ticking the wrong box on a fax form — inadvertently advising authorities that an accident had occurred when it had not.
The workers at Tepco, operator of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture where the strong quake struck, faxed a message to local authorities Tuesday night, seeking to allay any fears of damage.
But the Tepco employees accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form, mistakenly indicating there was an abnormality at the plant rather than that there was no problem.
One official filled out the form, and it was checked by a colleague before being sent.
Many government departments and companies in Japan still rely on fax machines for communication.
Tepco’s Tokyo headquarters noticed the mistake and a correction was published 17 minutes after the original release, the firm’s Tokyo-based spokesman said.
The mayor of Kashiwazaki city, Masahiro Sakurai, saw the incorrectly filled-out form and immediately directed staff to check what was happening.
The mayor hit out at Tepco, which also operates the Fukushima No 1 nuclear plant that suffered a catastrophic disaster when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
“When a real earthquake is happening, not a drill, this is a massive error,” Sakurai told local reporters, according to the Mainichi Shimbun daily.
“It is extremely poor on their part to make errors in the most important and basic information at a time of crisis,” he said, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
Tepco apologized and vowed not to repeat the mistake.
The late-night quake prompted a tsunami advisory, but only small ripples of 10 centimeters (three inches) were recorded.
The government said up to 26 people were injured — two seriously, although their injuries were not life-threatening.
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June 27, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO decides not to hire foreign workers at nuclear plant

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May 22, 2019
Workers check the advanced liquid processing system used to treat contaminated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in December. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced May 22 it was backtracking on plans to use foreign workers at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after the health ministry urged extreme caution.
The utility said it will not hire foreign workers at the plant “in the immediate future” as it will need “much more time to put a system in place to ensure their safety.”
The company noted that hiring foreign workers at the nuclear plant under a new specified skills visa category that took effect in April could result in work-related accidents and long-term health problems due to their lack of Japanese language skills and understanding of Japanese labor practices.
The announcement followed a health ministry caution May 21 for TEPCO to carefully reconsider its policy of using foreign workers at the complex.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare noted that TEPCO was keen to take advantage of a new specified skills visa category and hire foreign workers, but urged the company to exercise “extreme caution.”
The ministry was concerned about foreign nationals with a limited command of Japanese being in an environment contaminated with radioactive substances.
The ministry had said that if TEPCO went ahead with hiring foreign workers, the company and its contractors involved in decommissioning had to take at least the same level of protective measures that apply to Japanese workers to ensure that they fully understand safety sanitation and avoid the health risk of excessive radiation exposure.
Even though eight years have passed since the triple meltdown, radiation levels remain high in many areas of the Fukushima plant, especially around the reactor buildings.
The decommissioning process that is expected to take years will involve a range of gargantuan tasks, one being the removal of melted nuclear fuel debris from the reactors.
Under the recently revised immigration control law, foreign workers with specified skills are permitted to work at nuclear power plants.
The ministry acknowledges that it is ultimately up to individual employers to decide whether or not to accept foreign workers on their payrolls.
But experts in Japan and overseas who are keen for the new visa program to be a success have also voiced concerns about foreign workers at the Fukushima plant developing radiation-related health issues and being able to manage them after they return to their home countries.
Foreign workers arriving in Japan in one of the two categories of specified skills can stay in the country for up to five years.
“Since there are no legal constraints, the ministry moved one step ahead of TEPCO,” said a senior ministry official, referring to the request for a rethink of the policy.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga referred to the ministry’s caution at a May 21 news conference, saying that TEPCO should be prepared to fully address a range of health-related problems that may arise in the future.
The utility notified dozens of its contractors at a meeting in late March that it will accept foreign workers at the Fukushima plant.
Currently, about 4,000 people toil at the plant each day. Most areas of the complex are categorized as controlled areas to guard against radiation exposure.
Under the law, workers at a nuclear facility must not be exposed to more than 100 millisieverts of radiation over five years and 50 millisieverts a year.

 

 

May 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO urged to be cautious about using foreign workers in Fukushima

21 may 2019
This photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows a trailer (bottom center) thought to be carrying nuclear fuel from one of the reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
May 21, 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Japanese government on Tuesday urged the operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to carefully examine its plan to have foreigners work at the complex under a new visa program, citing difficulties in managing the long-term health risk.
“It is necessary to give very deliberate consideration” to whether foreigners who come to Japan under the new visa program should engage in decommissioning work at the plant, labor minister Takumi Nemoto told reporters.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said last month it plans to accept foreign workers at the facility hit by the 2011 megaquake and tsunami.
The minister expressed concern about the ability to conduct long-term health management for foreign workers after they return to their home countries upon expiration of their visas.
“It is necessary to establish a safety and health management procedure that is equivalent or more advanced than that for Japanese workers,” Nemoto said.
The new visa program launched this April is intended to bring in mainly blue-collar foreign workers to 14 labor-hungry sectors including construction, farming and nursing care in aging Japan. TEPCO has confirmed with the Justice Ministry that holders of visas under the scheme are eligible to work at the Fukushima plant.
The government also urged TEPCO to consider implementing measures to manage the amount of radiation exposure for workers engaged in decommissioning tasks.
It also requested the utility to study whether it can use native languages for safety training and when issuing safety warnings at workplaces for workers who lack general proficiency in the Japanese language and familiarity with the country’s customs.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare demanded TEPCO report back to the ministry on the outcome of its deliberations without setting a deadline.
TEPCO said it has told dozens of its subcontractors that foreigners coming to Japan under the new visa program can not only engage in decommissioning work at the plant, but also take up building cleaning roles and work in the provision of food service.
To prevent unsafe levels of radiation exposure, TEPCO has said foreign workers must have Japanese language abilities that enable them to accurately understand the risks and to follow procedures and orders communicated to them in Japanese.
In radiation-controlled areas, workers need to carry dosimeters. On average, approximately 4,000 people work for TEPCO subcontractors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant each day.
To address exploitation fears under the new visa system, the Justice Ministry has issued an ordinance requiring employers to pay wages equivalent to or higher than those of Japanese nationals.

May 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Danger in foreign workers at Fukushim nuclear clean-up – Tepco abandons plans for them

May 23, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Safety and language problems, as Tepco plans to bring in foreign workers for Fukushima clean-up

April 25, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

TEPCO plans to use new foreign workers at Fukushima plant

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Rows of storage tanks hold radiation-contaminated water on the grounds of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
April 18, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to use the new visa program to deploy foreign workers to its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, sparking concerns that language barriers could cause safety hazards and accidents.
The specified skills visa program started in April to alleviate labor shortages in 14 different industrial sectors. TEPCO says it has long lacked enough workers for decommissioning work at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
At a March 28 meeting, the utility explained its plan to hire foreign workers to dozens of construction and other companies that have been contracted for decommissioning work.
TEPCO officials asked the companies to be aware that workers sent to radiation monitoring zones must wear dosimeters and receive special education about the dangers they will face.
The new work visa program requires the foreign workers to have a minimum level of Japanese language ability needed for daily life.
But TEPCO officials reminded the company representatives that Japanese language skills would be even more important at the Fukushima plant because of the need to accurately understand radiation levels and follow instructions by superiors and colleagues regarding work safety.
TEPCO officials said they would ask the contracting companies to check on the Japanese language skills of prospective foreign workers.
But at least one construction company has already decided not to hire any foreign workers.
“The work rules at the No. 1 plant are very complicated,” said a construction company employee who has worked at the Fukushima plant. “I am also worried about whether thorough education can be conducted on radiation matters. It would be frightening if an accident occurred due to a failure of communication.”
According to TEPCO officials, an average of about 4,000 people work at the nuclear plant each day, mostly in zones where radiation levels must be constantly monitored.
To stay within the legal limits on exposure levels, workers often have to be replaced, leading to difficulties for TEPCO in gathering the needed number of workers.
Between April 2018 and February this year, 11,109 people worked at the Fukushima plant. Of that number, 763 were found to have levels of radiation exposure between 10 and 20 millisieverts, while 888 had levels between 5 and 10 millisieverts.
The legal limit for radiation exposure for workers at nuclear plants is 50 millisieverts a year, and 100 millisieverts over a five-year period.
The Justice Ministry has disciplined companies that used technical intern trainees for decontamination work without adequately informing them of the dangers. The ministry has also clearly stated that such trainees are prohibited from doing decommissioning work at the Fukushima plant.
However, Justice Ministry officials told TEPCO that foreigners with the new visa status could work alongside Japanese staff at the nuclear plant.
Although their numbers are small, foreign workers and engineers have been accepted at the Fukushima plant. As of February, 29 foreigners had been registered as workers engaged in jobs that expose them to radiation.
A construction company official said such foreign workers were hired after their Japanese language ability was confirmed.
But concerns remains on whether the new foreign workers will be able to properly understand how much radiation exposure they have experienced.
“Even Japanese workers are not sure about how to apply for workers’ compensation due to radiation exposure,” said Minoru Ikeda, 66, who has published a book about his experiences in decommissioning work at the Fukushima plant until 2015. “The problem would only be exacerbated for foreign workers.”
Kazumi Takagi, a sociology professor at Gifu University, has conducted interviews with nuclear plant workers.
Noting the need for special protective gear to work at the Fukushima site, Takagi said: “Unless workers can instantly understand the language when minor mistakes or sudden problems occur, it could lead to a major accident. That, in turn, could cause major delays in the work.”

April 23, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | 1 Comment

TEPCO -Workers deaths are not reported 報道されない原発作業員の死亡について

以上、西山さんの情報で精度の高そうなものは、瀬戸教授の内部告発による、行方不明者のうち数名が県立医大に検体として持ち込まれていた。 One other thing Prof Seto said that seemed close to the truthwas that several missing bodies that were found in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant were taken into Fukushima Medical University and kept as specimen materials.

nuclear-news

…“She said that there have been so many workers dead without being reported. Some died during the 2 days break, some didn’t turn up the next morning and were found dead…. Those who died haven’t been measured for how much exposure they got. Tepco doesn’t count and report the dead unless they die during their work hours.” …

Posted by Mia

21 November 2013

(Source)
(Editor’s comment: According to Mrs. Mako Oshidori of NPJ and of Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd., Tepco doesn’t keep a record of the worker’s radiation exposure and number of deaths (See the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Pu5iLj7toE There has been some information in the Japanese blogs concerning Tepco worker’s deaths. I picked a few of them for this post.
<福島県川内村村議会議員 西山千嘉子氏からの情報> 7/11/2011 原発作業員の死亡はこれまで3名と発表されているが、あくまでも、作業中に体調不良で亡くなった方の数。契約を終えて家に帰ってから亡くなる方が多いが、それはまったくカウントされていない。これまでフクイチ原発作業に携わった作業員は、のべ10万人、そのうち約4%にあたる4300人が亡くなっているという。直接の死因は心筋梗塞が多いよう だ。そのようにして亡くなくなった場合には、億単位の多額の口止料が支払われており、口外すると没収されてしまうため、家族も一切口をつぐんでいるよう だ。
According to Ms. Chikako Nishiyama, a former member of the Kawauchi village Assembly…

View original post 642 more words

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tepco officials warned workers and journalists not to stand too long next to Fukushima nuclear reactor storage pool

Steve Dale Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch South Australia, 6 Dec 17 

Poor workers, poor reporters – “TEPCO officials cautioned media representatives about standing too long right next to the storage pool, which could be seen located about six meters below the roof. Debris was found within the pool while insulating material floated on the pool surface.

The radiation level near the pool was 0.68 millisieverts per hour. While that was a major improvement from the 800 millisieverts per hour recorded in the immediate aftermath of the nuclear accident close to seven years ago” – 0.68 millisieverts is 6800 times the background radiations level of Adelaide (0.1 MICROsieverts/hour)Fukushima dome roof takes shape, but radiation remains high:The Asahi Shimbun

High radiation levels are still limiting recovery work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, a stark

December 6, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

32,000 workers at Fukushima No. 1 got high radiation dose, Tepco data show

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A Reuters reporter measures a radiation level of 9.76 microsieverts per hour in front of Kumamachi Elementary School inside the exclusion zone in Okuma, near Tokyo Electric Power Co’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Feb. 13.

A total of 32,760 workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had an annual radiation dose exceeding 5 millisieverts as of the end of January, according to an analysis of Tokyo Electric Power Co. data.

A reading of 5 millisieverts is one of the thresholds of whether nuclear plant workers suffering from leukemia can be eligible for compensation benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Of those workers, 174 had a cumulative radiation dose of more than 100 millisieverts, a level considered to raise the risk of dying after developing cancer by 0.5 percent. Most of the exposure appears to have stemmed from work just after the start of the crisis on March 11, 2011.

The highest reading was 678.8 millisieverts.

Overall, a total of 46,490 workers were exposed to radiation, with the average at 12.7 millisieverts.

The number of workers with an annual dose of over 5 millisieverts increased 34 percent from fiscal 2013 to 6,600 in fiscal 2014, when workloads grew to address the increase in radiation-tainted water at the plant. The number was at 4,223 in the first 10 months of fiscal 2015, which ends this month, on track to mark an annual decline.

A labor standards supervision office in Fukushima Prefecture last October accepted a claim for workers compensation by a man who developed leukemia after working at the plant, the first recognition of cancer linked to work after the meltdowns as a work-related illness. Similar compensation claims have been rejected in three cases so far, according to the labor ministry.

The average radiation dose was higher among Tepco workers at the plant than among workers from subcontractors in fiscal 2010 and 2011. Starting in fiscal 2012, the reading was higher among subcontractor workers than among Tepco workers.

The average dose for subcontractor workers was 1.7 times the level of Tepco workers in fiscal 2013, 2.3 times in fiscal 2014 and 2.5 times in fiscal 2015 as of the end of January.

A separate analysis of data from the Nuclear Regulation Authority showed that the average radiation dose of workers at 15 nuclear power plants across the country, excluding the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants, fell to 0.22 millisievert in fiscal 2014, when none of the plants was in operation, down 78 percent from 0.99 millisievert in fiscal 2010.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/07/national/science-health/32000-fukushima-no-1-workers-got-high-radiation-dose-tepco-data-show/#.WL_oZKKmnIW

March 8, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco data show 32,000 workers at Fukushima No. 1 got high radiation dose

, Tepco data show http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/07/national/science-health/32000-fukushima-no-1-workers-got-high-radiation-dose-tepco-data-show/#.WL-YzNKGPGhJIJI
 MAR 7, 2016
 A total of 32,760 workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had an annual radiation dose exceeding 5 millisieverts as of the end of January, according to an analysis of Tokyo Electric Power Co. data.

A reading of 5 millisieverts is one of the thresholds of whether nuclear plant workers suffering from leukemia can be eligible for compensation benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Of those workers, 174 had a cumulative radiation dose of more than 100 millisieverts, a level considered to raise the risk of dying after developing cancer by 0.5 percent. Most of the exposure appears to have stemmed from work just after the start of the crisis on March 11, 2011.

The highest reading was 678.8 millisieverts.

Overall, a total of 46,490 workers were exposed to radiation, with the average at 12.7 millisieverts.

The number of workers with an annual dose of over 5 millisieverts increased 34 percent from fiscal 2013 to 6,600 in fiscal 2014, when workloads grew to address the increase in radiation-tainted water at the plant. The number was at 4,223 in the first 10 months of fiscal 2015, which ends this month, on track to mark an annual decline.

A labor standards supervision office in Fukushima Prefecture last October accepted a claim for workers compensation by a man who developed leukemia after working at the plant, the first recognition of cancer linked to work after the meltdowns as a work-related illness. Similar compensation claims have been rejected in three cases so far, according to the labor ministry.

The average radiation dose was higher among Tepco workers at the plant than among workers from subcontractors in fiscal 2010 and 2011. Starting in fiscal 2012, the reading was higher among subcontractor workers than among Tepco workers.

The average dose for subcontractor workers was 1.7 times the level of Tepco workers in fiscal 2013, 2.3 times in fiscal 2014 and 2.5 times in fiscal 2015 as of the end of January.

A separate analysis of data from the Nuclear Regulation Authority showed that the average radiation dose of workers at 15 nuclear power plants across the country, excluding the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants, fell to 0.22 millisievert in fiscal 2014, when none of the plants was in operation, down 78 percent from 0.99 millisievert in fiscal 2010.

March 8, 2017 Posted by | employment, Fukushima continuing, Japan | Leave a comment

Tepco Recognizes only 15 Workers’ Cancers at Fukushima Daiichi

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A new report was released by TEPCO stating that 15 workers from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have develop cancer so far : 8 cases of leukemia, 5 cases of malignant lymphoma, 2 cases of multiple myeloma.

These cancers are recognized sufficiently linked to their work at the nuclear plant and caused by their  radiation exposure . Their exposure dose superior to 100 mSv or more and the period from their radiation exposure to their onset of cancer is more than 5 years. Those 15 workers eligible to receive compensation.

These counts does not include the SDF and Tokyo Fire Department workers who responded to the disaster at Fukushima daiichi on March 2011.

Source : http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/roadmap/2017/images1/l170117_09-j.pdf

January 19, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | 1 Comment

Tepco’s hazmat suit guideline decreases burden on workers during summer heat

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Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant, has been revising guidelines for when workers need to wear full masks with hazmat suits or less-bulky outfits to improve their working conditions during the scorching summer.

While a full-body outfit limits radiation exposure, hazmat suits and full masks have been a heavy burden for workers because they restrict movement and make it difficult to breathe, prompting Tepco to revise the guidelines on their usage.

In March, Tepco changed the guidelines, dividing the premises into three areas.

In the area where radiation levels remain high, including inside reactor buildings 1, 2 and 3, workers will need to wear a full mask and disposable hazmat suit with a raincoat-like outer layer.

Workers meanwhile will need to wear full or half masks with hazmat suits in areas where radiation levels are lower, such as near tanks filled with radiation-tainted water. In the remaining area, the majority of which has low levels of radiation, workers only need to use disposable masks and their usual work outfits, Tepco said.

According to the utility, out of about 5,000 to 6,000 workers on the premises, about 47 percent were required to wear a full mask in June, down from about 66 percent in January, before the guidelines were changed.

Those who are required to wear a half mask increased to 48 percent from 28 percent in the same period, it said.

Before the guidelines were revised, about 8,000 disposable hazmat suits were used per day, but the number declined to about 4,000.

Even as hazmat suit requirements have halved, radiation exposure cases have remained unchanged at an average of two a day, Tepco said, adding that the risk of radiation exposure has not increased.

Tepco said it will offer summer outfits at the beginning of this month to lessen the chance of workers succumbing to heatstroke.

In July, the health ministry opened a health care office at J-Village near the Fukushima No. 1 power plant so that its workers can seek free health consultations from doctors who are versed in radiation exposure.

“During the summer period, the health of workers tends to worsen due to heatstrokes as well as other illnesses, so we need to step up measures to resolve the situation,” said a heath ministry official.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/02/national/tepcos-hazmat-suit-guideline-decreases-burden-workers-summer-heat/#.V6FSAYQiBHw.facebook

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO: Accident info was not shared among workers

A survey by the operator of the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant shows that information on a cooling system at one of the reactors was not shared by plant workers at the time of the 2011 accident.

Meltdowns took place at 3 of the plant’s reactors, starting with the No.1 unit. The complete loss of power at that reactor stopped all of its cooling systems.

Surveys in the year after the accident by the government, Diet, and Tokyo Electric Power Company showed that staff at the reactor did not know whether an emergency cooling system was functioning after an indicator lamp went off following the loss of power.

Different findings were obtained in a survey carried out last year by TEPCO.
One worker said he himself stopped the cooling system just before the loss of power. Another said he thought the system had not been functioning, because pressure inside the reactor was rising after the power went out.

The manager on duty at the time said he had no memory of being informed that the emergency cooling system had been stopped.

Just before the loss of power, the system was turned on and off to cool the reactor in stages.

TEPCO officials say reactor staff may have failed to share important information on the status of the cooling system amid confusion over the loss of power.

A later analysis shows that the meltdown started at the No.1 reactor in the evening of March 11th, the day of the accident.

But members of a task force set up that day believed that the cooling system was working until midnight. They included then plant chief Masao Yoshida.

The 2015 findings suggest that the delay in sharing the correct information may have affected the response to the accident.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160310_38/

March 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 1 Comment

32,000 workers at Fukushima No. 1 got high radiation dose, Tepco data show

n-tepco-a-20160308-870x641

A Reuters reporter measures a radiation level of 9.76 microsieverts per hour in front of Kumamachi Elementary School inside the exclusion zone in Okuma, near Tokyo Electric Power Co’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power planton Feb. 13

A total of 32,760 workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had an annual radiation dose exceeding 5 millisieverts as of the end of January, according to an analysis of Tokyo Electric Power Co. data.
A reading of 5 millisieverts is one of the thresholds of whether nuclear plant workers suffering from leukemia can be eligible for compensation benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses.
Of those workers, 174 had a cumulative radiation dose of more than 100 millisieverts, a level considered to raise the risk of dying after developing cancer by 0.5 percent. Most of the exposure appears to have stemmed from work just after the start of the crisis on March 11, 2011.
The highest reading was 678.8 millisieverts.
Overall, a total of 46,490 workers were exposed to radiation, with the average at 12.7 millisieverts.
The number of workers with an annual dose of over 5 millisieverts increased 34 percent from fiscal 2013 to 6,600 in fiscal 2014, when workloads grew to address the increase in radiation-tainted water at the plant. The number was at 4,223 in the first 10 months of fiscal 2015, which ends this month, on track to mark an annual decline.
A labor standards supervision office in Fukushima Prefecture last October accepted a claim for workers compensation by a man who developed leukemia after working at the plant, the first recognition of cancer linked to work after the meltdowns as a work-related illness. Similar compensation claims have been rejected in three cases so far, according to the labor ministry.
The average radiation dose was higher among Tepco workers at the plant than among workers from subcontractors in fiscal 2010 and 2011. Starting in fiscal 2012, the reading was higher among subcontractor workers than among Tepco workers.
The average dose for subcontractor workers was 1.7 times the level of Tepco workers in fiscal 2013, 2.3 times in fiscal 2014 and 2.5 times in fiscal 2015 as of the end of January.
A separate analysis of data from the Nuclear Regulation Authority showed that the average radiation dose of workers at 15 nuclear power plants across the country, excluding the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants, fell to 0.22 millisievert in fiscal 2014, when none of the plants was in operation, down 78 percent from 0.99 millisievert in fiscal 2010
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/07/national/science-health/32000-fukushima-no-1-workers-got-high-radiation-dose-tepco-data-show/#.Vt2gKfl95D8

March 7, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | 2 Comments

Mako Oshidori on the plight of TEPCO’s nuclear plant workers

Oshidori, MakoMako Oshidori in Düsseldorf “The Hidden Truth about Fukushima”, Fukushima Voice version 2E 28 May 2014  “…..Next, I would like to talk about the nuclear power plant workers. This man [photo in original] used to work for TEPCO as a nurse at a medical clinic inside FDNPP. I interviewed him when he quit his job at TEPCO in 2013. [photo]
When NPP workers die, the only deaths publicly announced by TEPCO are deaths that occurred while at work. For instance, if workers die during a weekend, in sleep, or during time off after 3 months of work, their deaths won’t be announced. Such deaths are reported to someone like him at the medical team at TEPCO, but they are merely attributed to chronic illnesses they must have had. There is no way to tell if the deaths were due to radiation exposure, but he said he was certain the workers were working under extremely severe conditions. I really wanted to write about his interview in various magazines, but unfortunately I can only write about this on the Internet which doesn’t have any sponsors.

There was an NPP worker who died in January 2012. I did a fairly thorough investigation after I was able to obtain police report on him. We got an address for the guarantor for the deceased worker, so we went to that address. There was an apartment building at this address without a unit numbered 204 which was supposed to be where the guarantor lived. In Japan, number four could mean bad luck (Note: In Japanese, number 4 phonetically sounds just likea Japanese word for “death”). After room 203, there was room 205, skipping room 204. I asked the other occupants of the apartment building, but there was no resident there by the name of this guarantor, so it didn’t seem like I wrote down the number wrong. Even though the building could be located on a map, you have to go there to verify the room is actually there. This might have been an guarantor with an imaginary address. This is the dark side of the construction and nuclear industries, not just post-nuclear accident, that those without families, especially elderlies, are given harsh work.

Workers who were exposed to 100 mSv in 2011 are entitled to annual cancer screening and thorough medical care. However, most workers get exposure doses below 100 mSv, such as 90, 95, or 83 mSv, and they don’t qualify for thorough medical care. Workers who had been working at NPP since before the accident know what could happen to them a after reaching a certain exposure dose in one year, or what it means to get exposed to 35 mSv in 2 hours during a particular work. They talk about how they probably won’t live too long. They are determined not to have any children, and they often talk about how uncertain they are about their lives in 5 years.

In current Japan, even children are not being protected, but there are some who are determined to protect children’t health. However, there is hardly any group or individuals advocating for protecting the workers in the most dangerous environment at FDNPS. I believe that is our responsibility. My article about the deceased worker from the January 2012 investigation was actually published in a weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun. However, a singer Ayumi Hamazaki suddenly got divorced right then, and I was asked to cut 75% of the article. I think a big reason why information such as this is not publicized is because readers are not craving for such information. We are in essence not fulfilling our duty to be informed……….http://fukushimavoice-eng2.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/mako-oshidori-in-dusseldorf-hidden.html

March 28, 2015 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2015, Japan | Leave a comment