Friday, April 1, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Now They Tell Us - 8 Radiation Monitoring Systems Were Down, Workers Didn't Have Dosimeter on Them

Dribbling out the information per excellence, even if the frank disclosure at the onset of the crisis may have prevented unnecessary accidents and unnecessary exposure of the plant workers and the residents around the Plant to high radiation.

Snippet from Yomiuri Shinbun (9:37 PM JST 4/1/2011): 


Also, the power has been restored to the 8 radiation monitoring systems placed near the perimeter of the Plant. They will be tested on April 2, and if they are operational they will be put to use.

So they were off-line the whole time, until April 1st. What a joke.

And by now you may already know that the workers at the plant weren't given a personal radiation monitoring device. TEPCO had 5,000 such devices (dosimeters) at the plant, but the tsunami after the March 11 earthquake swept almost all of them away, and they had only 320. Of that 320, workers had accidentally took them home, and there are less numbers available for each worker to use.

So what did TEPCO do? Call up every nuclear plants, research institutes in the world, not just Japan, and ask them to send them all the dosimeters they can spare to Fukushima, and call the prime minister to allow for expedited custom clearance? And do the same for the radiation monitoring systems, perhaps with solar panels attached so that they don't need external power source? Or at least put them back online as soon as they had the power back in the control rooms?

Noooooo. TEPCO gave one docimeter per a group of workers and decided to assume that was adequate, and waited until April 1st to restore power to the plant's radiation monitoring systems.

As I was watching the TEPCO's regular press conference (without big shots) that started around 5:30PM JST on April 1. One journalist toward the end asked this question:

About the three workers who were irradiated the other day. Did they each have a dosimeter?

TEPCO's answer was:

We don't have the information at hand right now, we will look into it, and will get back to you later.

And the Japanese people were asked to stand behind TEPCO and cheer, by one of Naoto Kan's ministers.


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