Sunday, July 10, 2011

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: They Will Start Charging Workers for Food at J-Village

(UPDATE: Someone on Twitter says they are going to charge for a shower, too.)

Starting July 13, the workers at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant will have to pay for food at the J-Village, a staging area for the work at the plant.

For the umpteenth time since the triple disasters of earthquake/tsunami/nuke struck, I am rather ashamed and disappointed to be Japanese. The first time was when the Japanese government had TEPCO dump the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, and the government made a middle manager at TEPCO announce, who was in tears, while PM Kan hid and said nothing.

I was disappointed with the cowardice and pettiness of TPTB in Japan.

And now, more pettiness. I don't know whether it's the sole decision of TEPCO (highly possible, with the chairman still at the helm who is known for his relentless cost-cutting) or with NISA.

The information is from a tweet of a worker at the plant. He could be wrong, and it could be just a "baseless rumor" floating at the plant (I hope so).

But he says:

Looks like we'll have to pay for food at J-Village from July 13. It's been free. I hope water will still be free. My group has been paying for Bento [lunch box] to eat, but there are many workers who get their food for free there.

People reading his tweets are shocked that he's been paying for his own food.

He is worried that some workers may skip breakfast as the result before coming to the plant for the work. He also speculates on the cost aspect, as "manufacturers have been raising unit costs".

With a cost-conscious company like TEPCO, cutting cost by cutting the free food may not be so surprising. What's truly disappointing is the government that continues to look the other way, as if this nuclear disaster is nothing but an extensive repair job on a nuclear power plant owned by TEPCO.

Instead, they are busy concocting the laughable "stress test" for the nuclear plants in Japan so that they can restart the plants ASAP. Just a bunch of petty, coward, myopic people.


Anonymous said...

Hope this is not true. Or that otherwise money workers get is very very much .

For drinking,in France, when you work in special environment, your company must have to give workers as many water or drinking as they need.

Should be same due to heavy conditions.

Do they know the word "on strike" ?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I'm sure they do know. But they seem very driven by the mission, and they know one day of no work on strike could lead to another disaster.

Anonymous said...

Well I've read somewhere else that TEPCO is on its last legs, financially, because it has no more spare cash and no-one wants to give them credit. Selling assets would be an out, only, again, there is the issue of who to sell to and what would be left of the company when the sale is done. So it may be that there is no more money for everybody's food.

Or it may be just a Japanese business thing, where contractors are supposed to fend for themselves.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Hey great work.

I found your blog because I had to search for you. A guy named Alexander Higgins often just pulls stuff from your blog (great!) and, while he writes, EX-SKF, (good) he doesn't hyper link to you (bad). It seems dishonest to me that a guy would complain about the government hiding facts and lying then not properly credit you for your fine work. A bit hypocritical, no?

Anyhow, I don't think it is fair. I wrote this to him:

Hi Mr. Higgins,
Love the site but wish you'd properly hyper link to EX-SKF every time you use his stuff.
I don't mean to seem argumentative but it seems that you when you don't do so that you are trying to take credit for something he wrote...
EX-SKF is a Japanese guy who tries his ass off. His parents live near Kesenuma (where the Tsunami totally wiped that place off the map). He should be properly hyper-linked to, no?
How would you feel if I took from your site and didn't properly hyper link to you?
Please. It's the only honest and fair thing to do.
Thanks and keep up the great work!

Anyhow, this blog is top quality. Insist upon properly being credited and hyperlinked to.

PS: I am a regular columnist for Lew Rockwell and we all quite enjoy this site. Great work. Top class. Well done. Really!

Anonymous said...

I am also disappointed and ashamed, as a human being, to see how Japanese politicians and bureaucrats and fucked-up Tepco managers behave. But you still have a lot to be proud of as a Japanese. I'm a non-Japanese in Tokyo for many years, and love this city more than ever. Right now Japan needs a tremendous amount of gaiatsu to wake up and start demanding better of itself. To this end, your blogging has been hugely informative and useful. Millions of thanks and please don't stop!

Anonymous said...

Evil personified!

What happened to all that Red Cross money etc. raised worldwide???
No money for a lunch truck and some bottled water? Some Asashi trucks too??
They have MILLIONS (USD $$$$) at their disposal!
They will steal it like they stole all the money raised for Haiti!

Anonymous said...

".. as if this was an extensive repair job .."

In the U.S. this is what the EPA is becoming,
"a recognition that this is no longer an experiment"
"A month before George W. Bush became president, Performance Track welcomed 228 charter members. Almost everyone who applied was accepted, including some companies with questionable environmental records, such as U.S. Steel, near Pittsburgh.

.. The program caught the attention of Rick Otis, a former American Plastics Council lobbyist and manager of the Bush 2001 transition team for the EPA. Otis, now an EPA deputy associate administrator, made Performance Track a priority.

Since then, Performance Track has more than doubled its membership to 548. The office has grown from five to 18 employees - plus consultants - and from an annual budget of $910,000 to $4,700,000.

.. Enforcement officials acknowledged errors but noted that the problem with bad data worked both ways - the database wrongly identified at least 28 companies as Performance Track members, theoretically entitling them to lower inspection rates. Incredibly, one enforcement official noted in an e-mail, this included the Hanford nuclear facility in Washington state, made famous by the 1983 movie Silkwood. "

"Performance Track relies on states, which enforce most federal environmental laws, to ease regulatory oversight of its members."

"a recognition that this is no longer an experiment" , most readers of this site suspect the responses to Fukushima will become the modus operandi, as the responses follow the nuke industry's wish list.

Hanford facility in Performance Track.

Anonymous said...

.. forgot to mention this, EPA's use of corexit,

and the use of that corexit after the deadline enabled by the FAA controlling airspace, Coast Guard, NOAA, Air National Guard .. none of these people breathed a word about it.

".. ashamed and disappointed .."

Anonymous said...

In fact, all the above organisations are standing on their heads.

Coast Guard
Air National Guard

The Headstand or Shirshasana posture = Loose Change

Anonymous said...

U.S. Navy personnel ordered to clean up after Chalk River core power excursion in the '50's.

"Back in the fifties, there were two rather serious nuclear reactor accidents at Chalk River, Ontario.

The first occurred in 1952, when the NRX reactor underwent a violent power excursion that destroyed the core of the reactor, causing some fuel melting. .. A series of hydrogen gas explosions (or steam explosions) hurled the four-ton gasholder dome four feet through the air where it jammed in the superstructure. Thousands of curies of fission products were released into the atmosphere, and a million gallons of radioactively contaminated water had to be pumped out of the basement and "disposed of" in shallow trenches not far from the Ottawa River. The core of the NRX reactor could not be decontaminated; it had to be buried as radioactive waste. Young Jimmy Carter -- later U.S. President, then a nuclear engineer in the U.S. Navy -- was among the hundreds of Canadian and American servicemen who were ordered to participate in the NRX cleanup following the accident."

"Five years later, in 1958, several metallic uranium fuel rods in the NRU reactor overheated and ruptured inside the reactor core. One of the damaged rods caught fire and was torn in two as it was being removed from the core by a robotic crane. As the remote-controlled crane passed overhead, carrying the larger portion of the damaged rod, a three-foot length of fiercely burning uranium fuel broke off and fell into a shallow maintenance pit. The burning fuel lay there, spreading deadly fission products and alpha-emitting particles throughout the reactor building. The ventilation system was jammed in the "open" position, thereby contaminating the accessible areas of the building as well as a sizable area downwind from the reactor site. A relay team of scientists and technicians eventually extinguished the fire by running past the maintenance pit at top speed wearing full protective gear, dumping buckets of wet sand on the burning uranium fuel.

Over a thousand men were involved in the cleanup operations following these two accidents."

The nuclear industry has NEVER been prepared for these types of disasters.

"When the NRU clean-up was completed, Mr. Paulson was cautioned by his superior officers to observe strict secrecy about all aspects of the decontamination operation."

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