Saturday, April 2, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Yomiuri Interviews TEPCO PR Manager at the Plant

I already wrote a post about the lack of dosimeters for the workers at Fukushima I Nuke Plant and the absence of proper radiation monitoring until April 2.

(Did you get that one? 8 radiation monitoring systems on the perimeter of the plant weren't operational for all these three weeks because TEPCO didn't bother to connect electricity to the systems until April 1. There's no news yet that they are now actually working.)

Now, surprise surprise, if we are to believe TEPCO, they have suddenly managed to secure additional docimeters from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuke Plant in Niigata Prefecture, another one right on the ocean, and the workers are now eating lunch on top of that. No word yet on additional water bottle. (See my post on $4855 a day, no lunch.)

Yomiuri Shinbun says it conducted the telephone interview with a TEPCO PR manager who's been at the plant to coordinate between the plant and the TEPCO headquarters [in PR matters].

From Yomiuri Shinbun (emphasis added; 3:04AM JST 4/3/2011):


Yomiuri Shinbun conducted the telephone interview with a TEPCO PR manager, Keiichi Kakuta, who's been at the plant to coordinate between the plant and the TEPCO headquarters [in Tokyo].


Kakuta said TEPCO "has secured 920 dosimeters" and the workers are getting three meals a day, instead of two. "The work conditions are improving, though it remains severe," said Kakuta.


TEPCO sent for 500 dosimeters from TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata Prefecture on April 1, after it was revealed [by the news media] that there weren't enough dosimeters for workers. Even though the number of meals has increased to three, the meals still consist of emergency foods and canned foods. "Volume is OK, but no variety."


Of 400 workers at the plant, 100 of them get to sleep in at the facility in Fukushima II Nuke Plant which is about 10 kilometers away. Some workers still have to sleep on the corridor as there is not enough space to accommodate the remaining 300 in the designated sleeping quarters in the building 免震重要棟 in Fukushima I Nuke Plant.


Kakuta said "The workers are not necessarily getting enough sleep, but their morale is high as they know that people are cheering for them."

Let's see, what will be the new missing item that TEPCO will no doubt dribble out (that's their mode of operation, to the point that the Japanese with short attention span - there are many - will forget what they were hearing before)?

My guess at the moment is the full-body anti-radiation suits.

Toshiba generously (I'm sarcastic) donated 45 dosimeters on April 1, and said they would also donate 744 water-proof suits coming from Babcock & Wilcox. Toshiba workers are at the plant, probably not wearing the suits. Their press release on April 1 (available in Japanese only) says there are 150 Toshiba workers at the plant on an ongoing basis at the request of the government and TEPCO, and total 400 Toshiba workers have already worked at the plant at one time since the accident.

The 200 full-body anti-radiation suits that were already donated by a Florida company, which can be worn without assistance, I have no information on them. I can hazard a guess: they are sitting in a custom warehouse somewhere in Japan.


Post a Comment