TEPCO says it has lost contact with 143 nuclear plant workers

TOKYO —

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said Thursday that it has not been able to locate 143 individuals working to restore the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant since May. The utility said it has no idea if the 143 have been exposed to radiation and to what level.

According to a report from TEPCO given to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, TEPCO hired many of the workers through subcontractors from all over Japan for limited periods and kept no records of their addresses. On any given day, TEPCO said it has had up to 1,000 workers on rotating schedules at the stricken power plant.

Asahi Geino reported in May that subcontractors were hiring day laborers to work at the plant. The daily remuneration was three times that of regular day jobs if within the grounds of the reactor complex, and 1.5 times higher if within the wider area now restricted due to high radioactivity.

While safety measures are in place to keep workers’ daily exposure to radiation within safe levels, claims for compensation due to sickness from overexposure are unlikely to be paid out, the magazine reported.

  • 1

    sillygirl

    this is unbelievable. i am speechless. no records!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 9

    Virtuoso

    Call the Yamaguchi-gumi. They have all that information in their Rolodex.

  • 1

    sillygirl

    oh, and while they say safety measures are in place - we know they were not in the beginning and we do not really know if they are now.

  • 1

    warnerbro

    They probably just changed names and went in for another go. Gangs are heavily involved and may have pulled them from the work force, either literally or figuratively. Or did TEPCO leave them inside the plant somewhere?

  • 3

    BurakuminDes

    These anonymous guys were the real heroes of the disaster - NOT the permanently employed TEPCO grubs - some of whom escaped Fukushima back to Tokyo. Sadly, they were paid peanuts to act as "bio-robots". I seriously doubt they were provided with any reliable safety gear either - most likely plastic bags and paper masks. Let's just hope they get lucky and their health hasn't been damaged permanently.

  • 2

    tokyokawasaki

    How convenient. It is another ploy so they can deny claims in the future by these workers.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Etttooooo.... ano-ne.... etttooooo. Ah, good old TEPCO with it's daily revelations. So how long ago did they lose contact? March? April? May? June? July? Nice of 'em to tell us now. These people could well be dead for all their company who hired them (via sub-contractors) cares. It's just something they need to legally declare.

  • 1

    techall

    They hired day workers to work on a nuke plant......Have you ever seen "day laborers"? Delilects, drunks, the homeless, the uneducated........holy crap!

  • 5

    tigerguy

    Someone should lose all TEMPCO management in reactor 3...

  • 4

    wanderlust

    Two days ago TEPCO told us that NO workers had been exposed to excessive radiation doses. Perhaps that should have been NO workers that they had bothering registering their names and addresses.

    This is in breach of their Nuclear Operations Laws, allowing unregistered/ unbadged staff in to an NPP. They could lose their license to operate an NPP, or what is left of an NPP.

    And conveniently for them, if any of them ever did make a claim for radiation-induced sickness or disease, it would be thrown out of court, with the judges citing no proof of exposure.

    @techall - most of the jobs these workers do are just physical labour, dirty work, cleaning, carrying work, etc.. They do not work in operation centres or close to operating reactors, and from the series of Japanese video clips on YouTube of work in the Wakasa-wan NPPS, they are heavily supervised by either Utility or Reactor Manufacturer staff.

  • 3

    BurakuminDes

    Delilects, drunks, the homeless, the uneducated

    That's a pretty spot-on description of TEPCO and other Japanese power companies' management!

  • 3

    ExportExpert

    No suprises here either, why does everything coming out of tepco not have the shock/surprise effect?

  • 6

    Badsey

    This company seems to take little to no responsibility for everything it does.

  • 5

    seaforte03

    A continuation of inept incompetent irresponsible lazy management.

  • 4

    gaijinfo

    143 workers out of a 1000 ( or more) unaccounted for sounds about right if you are hiring day laborers. I'm sure some of these poor guys don't have any permanent address. So sad. Hope they aren't affected by radiation.

  • 3

    Christina O'Neill

    SITUATIONS VACANT We are an infamous company providing energy to homes and business throughout Japan and are at present able to offer temporary day workers lucrative employment in our nuclear power department. Previous experience and knowledge of the nuclear industry is un nessassary,in fact we would prefer applicants to be totaly naive. Above average renumeration will be earned due to the short life expectancy of the contract. Your name and address remains optional with your application.

  • 2

    JeffLee

    Asahi Geino?!? why isn't this being reported by Japan's "respectable press."

  • 2

    tomatoflight

    Is this going to be like the time they found dead workers in the plant? How many rotting corpses are inside those walls? Horrific way to go.

  • 3

    danj555

    Unbelievable. I hope that they get compansated for their time. Arnt the Japanese known for their beurocracy? Record keeping I mean.

  • 1

    Десу Грачкин

    Oh wow... That's to say they have not signed any contracts with TEPCO?

  • 2

    valley-of-the-shadows

    Surely, and probably legally, the subcontractors should have a record of the workers they sent to the power plant? AND surely they have a record of their addresses? Or are they in on this scam, too?

  • 2

    GW

    Unbelievable. I hope that they get compansated for their time. Arnt the Japanese known for their beurocracy? Record keeping I mean.

    Japan leant to stop doing that after WWII!

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    tomatoflight: "Is this going to be like the time they found dead workers in the plant? How many rotting corpses are inside those walls? Horrific way to go."

    No kidding. Soon they're going to have to admit it's actually worse than Chernobyl, and what an embarrassment that'll be for the government (which means it won't be published for a few years here). Once again we are seeing what TEPCO is really made of.

  • 4

    tdcfox

    Bravo TEPCO, Bravo! Just when you thought what they've already done couldn't be any more incompetent and brainless... they outdo themselves again. Kind of like Bubka breaking all those world records week by week, but not...

  • 3

    westerner

    Although TEPCO were pretty much pre-occupied with the nuke disaster, there's no excuse for stuffing up this simple but absolutely essential task of record-keepinIg.
    If they can't get this right how can they be expected to run a nuke plant?

  • 2

    Chriso

    Once again TEPCO lies, lies, lies, and what do the Japanese people do, nothing much. TEPCO are doing this on purpose the situation is dire and not keeping records of workers? Give me a break, they just dont want the world to know that they have already signed their death warrants. Losing the records of children whom they have tested for Iodine exposure is not great either, really what are they doing! The same Country where there is paper work to fill out just to take a leak, crazy! I suppose the Eugenists are happy.

  • 3

    saru_au

    anything related to tepco should be in the crime section of this site

  • 3

    Cos

    Tepco lost contact with this planet so long ago. Something paranormal happened and now they live in their own dimension. Or they are inside some manga or anime, like Sazae-san. We see the show everyday, it's always incredible.

    But well, those poor devils that took the jobs surely don't care much and didn't expect more. Society forgot their existence. Administration lost their file for nenkin. Now that Tepco too lost their file and the adress of the park where they usually have their cardboard.

  • 2

    herefornow

    anything related to tepco should be in the crime section of this site

    saru-au: Spot on. TEPCO's complete and utter ineptitude, incompetence, and arrogance have caused millions of people un-needed stress and anxiety, not to mention inconvenience, losses of wages/jobs, and possible exposure to radioactive materials. If that is not criminal negligence I don't know what is.

  • 2

    Maitake

    Brilliant TEPCO, just when the world thinks you can't get any more incompetent...

  • 2

    Oracle

    Simply incredible. Just to buy a recycle ticket to get rid of my old TV, my name and address were required! Was I going to trick them so I could pay thousands of yen? But to get a job doing emergency work with a massive electric company running nuclear power plants and draw a salary that must be taxed? Never mind!

    By far not my biggest problem with TEPCO though.

  • 2

    readyforthelaughinggas

    Right. So how many of the posters here still live in Japan? Because I'm gonna get the hell out if the answer is not many!

  • 1

    herefornow

    So how many of the posters here still live in Japan?

    ready -- not I. J-government's and TEPCO's inability to deal with this crisis was obvious from Day 1. So I was not going to stay and pay a physical, psychological, and financial price for five years or more when it would support this kind of criminal incompetence.

  • 4

    soundandthefury

    Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said Thursday that it has not been able to locate 143 individuals working to restore the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant since May.

    In Tepco math, just how many people is that? I am trying to remember a time when Tepco provided accurate data and it is difficult.

  • 1

    takoyakitora

    Just what will it take to finally drag this scum in front of an international tribunal in The Hague for crimes against humanity?

  • 2

    gogogo

    No records = homeless people.... tepco hired homeless people

  • 2

    Mark_Richards

    Unbelievable.

    Hopefully the inability to simply manage an address book does not suggest inability to manage nuclear materials.

  • 3

    soundandthefury

    Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said Thursday that it has not been able to locate 143 individuals working to restore the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant since May.

    If you didn't know, there have been a number of reports about the kind of people sent to the front lines and they are since unaccounted for -- they are usually homeless, don't have records, and won't be missed.

  • 2

    Serrano

    TEPCO doesn't need all this aggravation.

  • 3

    soundandthefury

    Just watching the news, and the restart of Tomari has been postponed! Tepco is the best friend of the anti-nuclear movement.

  • 0

    The Munya Times

    Poor penniless slaves, had no choices other than gambling with heir life for nothing.

    Looted the whole plant for fine measuring instruments and electric parts or anything else that could be moved in hope they can sell it later. Took advantage of the lack of control as the Tepco executives and supervisors were busy changing their diapers after they peed their pants in fear of going closer to the plant.

    They didn't go there to die, didn't want to stay there for long, just to see what can be moved or what they can get from no-man's land. No one wanted to know about them or bother with their irradiated, contaminated corpses, no one wanted to register them or hear their name. Just go away and die somewhere else.

    So, now they're selling the loot and spreading the contamination. Good one. One they the lord of the societies as well as big boys gonna learn that poverty, misery and pain cannot be isolated for their safety. It brings the pain home, ya burke?

  • -2

    The Munya Times

    One day the lords

  • 2

    Mark Bradley

    Sounds like the perfect window of opportunity for terrorists to get their hands on nuclear materials....

  • 3

    yobi00

    Seems that NHK has picked it up and there's going to be an a half hour special on Friday at 22:55~23:25 on NHK general. Here's a link.

    http://www.nhk.or.jp/tsuiseki/

  • 4

    BurakuminDes

    However, if this is what most of you think, the guy that is irradiated might be standing right next to you right now and contaminating you!

    Radiation can't be spread from person to person like influenza. Ne?

  • 2

    Simp

    say, has anyone checked the Home Depot parking lot? I bet you'll find the missing 143 folks there.

  • 2

    Utrack

    143 People are missing? My first thought is that they are DEAD. How Long were those Hotspots there at Daiichi before someone decided to do a measurement of that area? i HOPE someone in their family or friends can tell those who are missing's Story.

  • 1

    Elbuda Mexicano

    This is just unbelievable! The UN, and the IAEA etc...should BE ALL OVER stupid TEPCO and the stupid Japanese government and hold them 100% responsible for this idiotic mess they have made their in Fukushima.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    This news did not surprise me at all. This is a cover up attempt by TEPCO.

    If you are one of these lost workers of TEPCO, please keep all payroll records for future needs. I hope you still have these papers in your file.

  • 3

    Cricky

    Smithers make this rabble go away.....yes Mr Burns

  • 1

    Piglet

    Maybe people should start a campaign to postpone paying TEPCO fees next month. I wouldn't condone boycotting the payment of fees (we could be in trouble). But if a significant number of people pay next month's fee one month later than usual, it could send a strong signal to the politics: we are fed up with TEPCO, private monopolies and collusion with the government. Bring us real and fair competition between utilities (by allowing other utilities to compete with TEPCO in Kanto area and allow new and smaller innovative utilities to emerge and provide alternative sources of energy on a smart grid).

  • 2

    amerijap

    The government should start setting up the criminal investigation right away.

  • 1

    Asagao

    I appoligise to TEPCO for blaming them for making mistakes in every single thing they have done. It wasn't TEPCOs fault. It is the homeless people running the plant, their public relations efforts, their reaction to the meltdowns and their testing of radiation in surrounding communities. Sorry TEPCO. Let's sue these incompetent homeless people...ragbags the lot of them.

  • 0

    The Munya Times

    I see one more thing I forgot to mention.

    The moral damage Tepco imposed on all Japan is inexcusable.

    Tepco now has became the token of Japan, the world identifies Tepco with Japan, with all their irresponsibility, incompetence, cowardice and crimes committed against humanity.

    The world's confidence in Japan is falling apart and not because of the natural disaster. That rather created compassion and empathy. Not because of the nuclear disaster it only shook confidence in the use of nuclear energy. Because of Tepco. The world reacts not by saying that Tepco guys are jerk offs but saying "that's Japan." The Japanese press reports "Tepco lost 143 nuclear plant workers but the world press reacts by saying " Japan lost 143 nuclear plant workers".

    It is not just the plant japan need to rebuild but their reputation too. It has gone. And its not just the plant they need to decontaminate, but their whole society from the incompetent, careerist, corrupt executives and government bureaucrats before they bring everything totally down.

  • 0

    Tel Porter

    143 seems like a lot but if you look at it from the distance, they have thousands of workers there each day and many of them would probably only be there for a small period of time before heading off to home or another job.

    It is definitely lazy record keeping by TEPCO but it is not like 143 people have vanished off the face of the earth. I'm sure the individuals who are missing from the record books would have had the sense to visit their doctor after a spell working at the plant.

  • 0

    zurcronium

    Was this not a plot line from the simpsons? Nuclear plant loses 143 people, meh. Homer is lost for six hours but turns up at Moe's tavern mysteriously.

  • 2

    hoipolloi

    People are cheaper to hire than buying and maintaining a fleet of expensive robots that require specialists to handle.

    The nuclear industry has a history of using sub-contractors to perform the dirty work. There maintaining safety standards then becomes the responsibility of the contractors. Very win-win for the likes of TEPCO.

    Fukushima's Bio-Robots http://www.slate.com/id/2290932/

  • 1

    wanderlust

    @telporter- most of these people do not have "doctors", the few who do will not see signs of cancers for another 20~30 years, and will not be able to claim anything as there are no official records of their exposure. They do not understand the dangers of radiation. Just check out the YouTube film 'Nuclear Ginza' for a very good description of their hiring process, being bussed into the NPP, lack of medical care, and work conditions...

    It is also against the Nuclear Power Plants' operating laws to allow unregistered people access, a fact which could lead to them losing their NPP operating license!

  • 2

    hoipolloi

    Labor abuses like this is not new for TEPCO. There were other incidences in 1997 and 2003 according to this link which quotes from Reuters:

    http://www.iol.co.za/business/international/fukushima-nuclear-crisis-followed-a-litany-of-lax-safety-measures-1.1090280?ot=inmsa.ArticlePrintPageLayout.ot

    "At Fukushima in 1997, Japanese safety rules were applied in a way that set very low radiation exposure limits on a daily basis, Fujii said. That was a prudent step, safety experts said, but it severely limited what Japanese workers could do on a single shift and increased costs.

    The workaround was to bring in foreign workers who would absorb a full-year’s allowable dose of radiation of between 20 and 25 millisieverts in just a few days.

    “We brought in workers from southeast Asia and Saudi Arabia who had experience building oil tankers. They took a heavier dose of radiation than Japanese workers could have,” Fujii said.

    Tepco would admit five years later it had hid evidence of the extent of the defect in the shroud from regulators. That may have added to the pressure to finish the job quickly. When new cracks were found, they were fixed without a report to regulators, according to disclosures made in 2002."

  • -3

    wnagler1

    These poor people were either killed by the radiation, taken out be Tepco so they could not show us the truth or just gave up.

    In any event, TEPCO needs to be replaced by someone else, and shut down. All Tepco leaders must be carted off to a Turkish prison. PM Kan and his closed loop world should be sent with them.

    CRIMINAL AND SO VERY SAD!!

  • -1

    Joseph12345

    This is totally incompetent, this was done deliberately so they would not have to be responsible for their healthcare TEPCO should be taking off the Plant cleanup as if they can be this negligent in just names, Not knowing or having contact information to keep tabs on their needs then this only goes to show how incompetent they are to handle the Welfare of the citizens of this country, they just do not care and have no respect for any other except the stock holders of the company, Why I say that is because if they do not have to take care of each person who got deadly sick, they are saving hundreds of thousands for each person, the Government should demand that TEPCO get each name and turn them over within three days or Lose their licenses to generate power, The Government should also Hire some American Firm right now to get in and do what ever is possible to stop the radiation from continuing to elevate into the atmosphere and have the fallout continue on the Citizens of this country, there has got to be a conclusion to this and it has to be now not in 6 months or 20 years, it needs to be done NOW! Think If all the un-born babies which will have defects and are deformed because of the radiation Fallout!

  • 0

    m00se

    It's just business. Like here in the USA, follow the money, though the path may twist. http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-hancock-exelon-nuclear-decommis20110806,0,7778271.column

  • -2

    desert_lady

    Perhaps thousands of workers have already died and it's being kept secret? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=csh77urli2s

    Rumor circulating via Twitter in Japan: Many more Fukushima workers dead than revealed — Bodies may be kept at medical school http://enenews.com/strange-rumor-circulating-via-twitter-in-japan-many-more-fukushima-workers-dead-than-revealed-bodies-may-be-kept-at-medical-school

    NHK: Fukushima children not growing in weight, average increase down 75% — Doctor says “very unusual”… some gained only 1 pound in year http://enenews.com/shock-koriyama-children-growing-weight-average-increase-down-75-post-fukushima-physician-indicates-negative-effects-meltdowns

  • 0

    zichi

    "Rumor circulating via Twitter in Japan: Many more Fukushima workers dead than revealed — Bodies may be kept at medical school"

    sneer nonsense!

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