Worker says Fukushima nuclear plant crisis crew not told of danger

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  • 15

    Yubaru

    First I hope he and the other workers stay healthy. Second, Kudos to him for stepping forward and blowing the whistle on this, it was on TV last night and while not unexpected considering it's TEPCO, it was shocking none the less.

    Lastly, 500,000 yen fines are a drop in the bucket, HAMMER the folks responsible and send them to jail, preferably at the bottom of a radiation filled pit of water.

  • 8

    Elvensilvan

    Shinichi’s radiation exposure that day alone exceeded half the government’s annual exposure limit ... stopped calling him for jobs in March, just telling him to stand by.

    This is exactly the reason why the nuclear industries hire temporary workers ... once they've gotten enough exposure to pose a threat, they're put on the sidelines, no worries about health and insurance claims, and no benefits.

  • 7

    alliswellinjapan

    Good work on the part of Fuji TV for finally locating him and encouraging him to step forward. Agree it should require tremendous courage risking his identity to be eventually known within his work community. Note there are 5 others out there who were with him under similar conditions at the time who should also ideally step forward.

  • 12

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    Out of fear of harassment of his family due to the tendency of some Japanese to stigmatize those perceived as different or as troublemakers,

    And there you have the root of much of what is wrong in this country. Everyone is afraid of stepping out of line. Thus the feudal overlords get away with murder. Well done Shinichi. I wish more Japanese possessed your backbone.

  • 2

    herefornow

    Asked about Shinichi’s allegations, TEPCO spokesman Yoshimi Hitosugi said the plant was aware of water leaks elsewhere but couldn’t anticipate the water problem in No. 3’s basement

    "Couldn't anticipate the water problem"? All they had to do was LOOK and they would have seen it. My God, the level of incompetence within TEPCO is simply staggering. And Japan Inc. wants the reactors restarted. Good luck folks.

  • 4

    marcelito

    Terrible but I don,t think anyone is surprised this kind of thing was going on. Lots more to come no doubt. Hope all those guys will be Ok long term. Sue the s€+>% it out of TEPCO and the contracting company.

  • 1

    Dennis Bauer

    Cannot say i didn't expect this.

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    These guys are heroes, but not in Japan because they are only contractors. The business and work ethics of this country could be compared to those of a communist country.

  • 1

    zenkan

    Please don't use "communist" in an unfair way - communism is the ultimate dream for the world, ideally speaking. In its purest form, EVERYONE would be fine and dandy. Conservative oligarchy?

  • -1

    GW

    Sadly now there must be MANY MANY thousands in the same position as this guy & new ones added daily.

  • 3

    blackbagger

    OK. He may have gotten only 20 millisieverts in that situation, but the people who were in the water got much much higher, especially someone who got enought radiation to cause beta burns. Fortunately for them, exposure would be mainly on their legs and feet. If they'd been in the water up to their waists it would've been a lot worse. My gut, though, says whenever they mention how much rads a certain worker gets it is almost always rounded down significantly. Truly tragic.

  • 10

    zichi

    The situation was far worse than what's stated in the post. The 80,000 nuclear gypsies as they are known have kept the nuclear industry working for decades and represent 80% of the total workforce used at the atomic plants.

    They have always received the short end of the stick. Day laborers without any rights, health checks, pensions. The contractors and sub contractors all make a fortune from the situation. Its time to outlaw this practice and should be employed directly by the power companies.

    The situation remains bad for them being exposed to high levels of radiation means they use up their allowed time every quickly and won't be able to work at any atomic plant for 5 years.

    TEPCO is using up thousands of them and will need tens of thousands more before the nuclear disaster is over.

    Its a disgrace that an advanced country like this allows this slave like conditions and its one the entire power industry or nuclear village should equally be ashamed about.

    People before profit.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Good job on this man coming forward. Thanks to the way companies protect themselves and not the workers they sub-contract, you can bet there are hundreds more like Shinichi, and probably a number of deaths that have gone unreported or were considered 'unrelated'.

    Anyway, is anyone surprised? And how much do you want to bet no one will see a day of jail time for this? I'll bet the company will throw some money his way to try and shut him up and bury this issue.

  • 7

    zichi

    Some of the workers sent into the basement of the No3 reactor were exposed to 400 millisieverts of radiation which was well above the limit and some got beta burns on their legs and feet.

  • 2

    Rhino

    Shinichi, good on you! Show the world that the Japanese people can change, that they can learn from mistakes. A revolution is what this country needs. I know you were not brought up this way, but you are not stupid. You can do it. Go and ask for a new(???), no, different (!!!)government next, made up of smarter and less selfish politicians. Especially beware of the LDP. They are the root of all this evil. Them and their goons will also get us involved in a war with China.

  • 4

    yasukuni

    How did the people high up in Tepco AND their wives sleep at night knowing that the people doing the dangerous work were treated so terribly.

    I hope this guy and guys like him get enough money to retire on. And I hope his five year old boy knows that his dad is a better man than most of the "heroes" that get lauded on TV.

    Geez this country embarrasses me sometimes.

  • 3

    yasukuni

    On the wider point, it's all very well for people to argue that Japan needs more contract workers but those people need to be looked after too.

  • 7

    zichi

    How did the people high up in Tepco AND their wives sleep at night knowing that the people doing the dangerous work were treated so terribly.

    After a big meal and a bottle of sake they sleep very well. The Fukushima nuclear gypsies are holed up in business hotels in Fukushima City, with five to six sleeping per room to reduce the costs.

  • 0

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    Worker safety is extremely important!

  • 5

    zichi

    Some of the nuclear gypsies were given dosimeters set at higher limits so the alarm didn't go off too quickly.

    The power companies have made trillions from nuclear energy while these workers didn't even receive the basic workers rights of decent wage, health checks, paid vacation, pensions.

    They live in the shadow world of the day labourer while their masters live in luxury.

  • -7

    JapanGal

    This shows that it pays to study when in school and not try to be cool joining bosozoku gangs...but unfortunately, those people will not read this.

  • -1

    cramp

    as long as jp govt implicitly empowers such behaviors, nothing will change or improve for the little guy

  • 2

    yosun

    Shinichi direct employer, the subcontractor for TEPCO, stopped calling him for jobs in March, just telling him to stand by.

    This man's request is quite simple! just let him keep working to maintain basic living of his family and he'll be happy. it says all that TEPCO and subcon can't even provide that! The whole system is sick from top through the bottom!

  • 0

    bruinfan

    Out of fear of harassment of his family due to the tendency of some Japanese to stigmatize those perceived as different or as troublemakers, Shinichi agreed to speak with the AP and several Japanese reporters on condition his face not be photographed.

    Yet the no good former president of TEPCO, Shimizu, has almost no stigma! People around the country should refuse to serve or do business with Shimizu.

  • 0

    yasukuni

    "This shows that it pays to study when in school and not try to be cool joining bosozoku gangs"

    I guess you're right. People should study so they can be the elite at Tepco and be in a high class bosozoku gang.

  • 0

    yasukuni

    "The whole system is sick from top through the bottom!"

    I'd say it's mostly the top.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    TEPCO and J. Politics are in curruption. Disgraceful indeed.

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