Monday, August 26, 2013

METI Blames TEPCO and Workers for Contaminated Water Leak at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant, Says They Are Not Working Hard Enough

According to Minister Toshmitsu Motegi, former McKinsey consultant who doesn't look the part, leaks of contaminated water happening recently at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant are not caused by faulty engineering or lack of money, but by TEPCO and the workers at the plant not working hard enough.

I guess lazy workers caused the land to sink, then.

Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is sustained (barely, but nonetheless) by workers from TEPCO and affiliate companies, some of whom are paid as little as $100 a day to work in a highly contaminated environment.

In addition to radiation exposure, they get the blame.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (8/26/2013):


Minister of Economy to order TEPCO to set up a team dedicated to contaminated water issues


As problems of contaminated water happen one after another at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is set to demand TEPCO on August 26 to set up a team dedicated to devising countermeasures against contaminated water.


Minister Motegi will visit Fukushima I Nuke Plant in the afternoon on August 26 and give instructions to TEPCO.


About the leak of 300 tonnes of contaminated water from a storage tank at the plant, Ministry of Economy thinks it was caused more by human errors on the part of TEPCO, such as insufficient daily inspections. The Ministry points out, "It's a matter of ability [of the workers] to respond at the plant, rather than technology or money." The Ministry plans to strengthen the oversight on TEPCO.


It is said that experts in contaminated water have little say within TEPCO. The Ministry is considering having general contractors with deep knowledge of how to deal with contaminated water in the team.

What kind of joke is this? General contractors with deep knowledge of how to deal with contaminated water?

It was one of those knowledgeable general contractors or two who drove down the sheet piles in the artificial soil and in the port, destabilizing the underground trenches and probably causing the release of contaminated water in the surrounding soil. It was one of those knowledgeable general contractors who built the concrete platform for the RO waste tanks that weigh 1,000 tonnes a piece when full. The platform cracked and sank.

Yet another general contractor did the injection of waterglass along the embankment made of artificial soil, which caused the groundwater to rise and flow over the underground waterglass wall.

And "oversight" from the very ministry whose lack of knowledge and initiative as the nuclear regulatory authority (NISA was under this ministry) after the accident contributed greatly to the haphazard, patchwork countermeasures at the plant? (Approving TEPCO's plan to store the RO waste water in the in-the-ground ponds comes to mind.)

Motegi also says the national government (i.e. his Ministry, in particular Agency of Natural Resources and Energy whose official talked about his "assumption" of "300 tonnes of contaminated groundwater" leak) will be in charge.

As if it's a good thing.


Anonymous said...

Humans like to focus on blame instead of actually solving problems. Always easier to point the finger for a quick feel good.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually glad we found the people responsible for this whole mess, i.e., the workers. Otherwise we might have been forced to conclude that nuclear technology is maybe not quite as manageable as previously proclaimed. Horrible thought ... (cynicism off)

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the Japanese government, specifically this agency, will cover all the medical costs for those workers who are getting exposed? Since they need to work harder (longer)...and of course the GENERAL CONTRACTORS..they need to cover their workmens health issues as well. Wonder if the government will take over the dosimeters and protect from radiation for EVERYONE....sure they will do a good job(sarcasm).

Anonymous said...

So send in the Japanese Defense Force to work instead. Don't use temporary labor, have 'liquidators' used, a few million...

Gwil W said...

This is a world problem and should be dealt with on a world problem basis.

Darth 3.11 said...

Deep think this: Decommissioning is going to take decades. Make working on this a full-time career, with education, decent housing, a legitimate managerial system, health care and a pension. Hire as many of the current temp workers as possible. Eliminate the layers of shadowy sub (to the 10th degree) contractors. Establish clear lines of authority and responsibility. And do this by the end of this year, and before withdrawing the spent fuel rods.

Then there might be a chance for us.

Anonymous said...

*Everything* seems to be good enough these days to serve as an excuse to draw money to their own or "contractor' pockets...

VyseLegendaire said...

@ Darth 3.11:

Nah I think this is a suitable job for Yakuza-organized, vagrant/migrant labor pool of the haggard and worn. No one better suited for the most critical task in the history of industry, on whose shoulders rest the entire future of at least half the planet.

Anonymous said...

Vyse, that's one demoralizing comment...

Darth 3.11 said...

Well, Vyse, your are right. That is why I think something as completely as my proposal should be put in place. However, I suspect things will continue as they are now. But forever?

Anonymous said...

opps..."something as completely different as my proposal..."

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