to clean up the upper floors of Reactor 3. What floor? was my first thought. The workers will be asked to clean up Reactor 4, too.
From Mainichi Shinbun Japanese (9/9/2011):
TEPCO announced on September 9 that 6 workers entered the reactor building of Reactor 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and installed a water gauge to measure the amount of contaminated water in the basement. According to the company, the radiation exposure of the 6 workers was between 0.33 to 5.26 millisieverts. The measurement using the water gauge is set to start on or after September 12.
... TEPCO also disclosed the plan to start removing the debris from the upper floors of Reactors 3 and 4. The work will start in Reactor 3 on September 10, and it will start in Reactor 4 within this month. Upper floors of Reactors 3 and 4 are littered with damaged ceiling panels and exterior wall panels, and it is hoped that the spread of radioactive materials will be suppressed by removing the debris.
Hmmm. Removing the debris will stir up the radioactive materials instead of suppressing them, won't it? Not to mention exposing the workers to an inadvertent 10-plus sieverts/hour super hot spot, as it happened near the exhaust stack between Reactors 1 and 2?
From the tweets by the worker at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, it is evident that TEPCO is fast running out of money (to spend on the accident, apparently not on its retiring executives) and carbon-based workers to do further work. The worker also tweeted a week or so ago that the construction people were active, already clearing debris in Reactor 4.
The construction companies (Kajima, Taisei are at Fukushima, I think) are the worst offenders in Japan traditionally when it comes to exploiting the temporary, contract workers. Apparently, according to the tweets by the worker mentioned above, there are workers hired by them who know little about radiation danger at Fukushima I Nuke Plant where a 10-sieverts/hr extreme hot spot can be just around the corner.
Perhaps I shouldn't say "TEPCO" in the title. It is not really TEPCO who is ready and willing to expose workers to high radiation by driving them to clean up the place. TEPCO asks its main subcontractors (in this case, large construction companies) to figure out a way to complete the task of clearing the debris and tells them the budget. The subcontractors tell their subcontractors , who then tell their subcontractors....(up to 6th or 7th degree removed from TEPCO) to figure out a way, and finally some fresh warm bodies are brought in and put to work. They may or may not know the risk. The task is simple, just removing the debris from the floors with full protection gear and face mask, climbing up and down the stairs as the elevators are broken. All they need is physical strength.
(By the way, he also says the flashing bright light in TEPCO's livecam at night is from the construction people. Not that you have to believe him necessarily, but just for your information.)
By putting in many layers of subcontracting, everyone can deny that they are willingly and actively putting workers at risk.
Ah the country is broken (and broke), and mountains and rivers are not the same any more, but the subcontracting and "dango" (collusion) are hard to die in Japan.
(I'll try to translate the words by the man who pointed at TEPCO's livecam from his original Japanese. He is protesting against this subcontracting system.)