Saturday, March 26, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Disappeared Article from Chunichi Shinbun - Truth of "Fukushima 50" May Not Be As Pretty

The article is supposed to be about angry subcontractors of TEPCO, which I saw the brief description at Kyodo News Japanese. But the link no longer works, and the message at Chunichi Shinbun says "No such article".

Well, Google Cache to the rescue...

Here's the original Japanese (my English translation below):

ずさん管理「まさか」 作業員、東電に憤り

2011年3月26日 朝刊 (中日新聞)


 「東電が大丈夫と言ったんだろう」。1号機で配管の下請け工事をした男性(37)は怒りを隠さない。3号機のタービン建屋地下の床には、高濃度の 放射能に汚染された水がたまっていることが判明。男性は元請け企業の担当者から「いずれ復旧工事があるから、準備しておくように」と言われたが「こんなん じゃ、いくら金を積まれてもやりたくない」と憤る。







And here's my quick and dirty translation. Not very hard to figure out why the article may have been pulled, and not hard to figure out who ordered it:

Subcon Workers Angry at Lax Safety Management at TEPCO, "Wouldn't have guessed they are this bad"

(3/26/2011 Morning edition)

After three workers were exposed to high radiation as they were carrying out the repair work in the Reactor No.3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, workers at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s subcontractors are highly critical of TEPCO's safety management which failed to ascertain safety for the workers. Some workers are resigned to their status as subcontractors relying on TEPCO work, saying "There's nothing we can do, we have to do what we're told to do."

One worker (age 37) who laid pipes for the Reactor No.1 is visibly angry, and he thinks TEPCO probably assured the workers it was safe [to work in the Reactor 3 building]. He also says the contractor [who would subcontract his company] has told him [or his company] to be ready to deploy for repair work, but he wouldn't want to do it no matter how much money is offered.

One worker (age 62) who happened to be near the Reactor 5 building when the earthquake struck is surprised that there was no pre-work safety check.

He says when he had to work in the high radiation area near the Containment Vessels he always wore masks with filter, and protective clothes. "It was hot and cumbersome to be dressed like that. I thought TEPCO did the radiation safety management well." Another worker (age 51) who is in the business of laying pipes is a little more sympathetic. He suspects that the information got mixed up in this unprecedented accident, and they didn't pay enough attention.

One of the three workers who were exposed to high radiation was from a subcontractor of the subcontractor Kandenko, who got the job from TEPCO. There's a strong belief that, in the "Nuclear Power Pyramid" with electric power companies at the top, subcontractors near or at the bottom of the pyramid will be asked to do the dangerous work. The workers at these bottom-of-the-pyramid subcontractors are called "Nuclear Power Plant (Genpatsu) Gypsies", as they go from one nuclear plant to another whenever the regular inspection of a plant comes up.

A 74-year-old man worked for nearly 25 years as one of such "Gypsies". He says "I worked without a geiger counter in the area with high radiation near the reactor containment vessels. I didn't want to say no to the management. I got injured many times, but [I hid it because] I wouldn't get a job if they knew I was injured."

"We owe our job to the Nuke Plant," says a man (age 61), whose company contracts painting jobs from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. His company is a local company, in Futaba-cho in Fukushima Prefecture. "We're all prepared for the worst. Otherwise we cannot carry on with our lives," he says, as if to dispel the fear of radiation exposure.


nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney said...

good find
very telling

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