Investigation: Did TEPCO Endanger Nuke Workers?

04/01/2011
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Update
Up to 180 TEPCO workers per day were not provided with radiation dosimeters. There were only 320 dosimeters out of 5,000 available after the earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO gave one to each group leader.

Kazuo Yamanaka, section chief of TECPCO, said, “We apologize to those people who were axious about being exposed to radiation.”

He told Japan’s Ministry of Health it would not happen again and each worker would be given a dosimeter.

TOKYO (majirox news) – Japan’s Ministry of Health will investigate Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for failing to provide proper safety precautions for its workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, where radiation has been leaking since an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on March 11, according to NHK. TEPCO owns and operates the plant.

“We have had a lot of problems with exposure to radiation with workers at the plant,” Japan’s Ministry of Health said.

Radioactive material has been scattered around the area of the Fukushima plant due to a series of hydrogen explosions.

One plant worker, who was not identified by NHK, said, “I do not know how much I was irradiated and I told TEPCO about my worries.”

TEPCO did not provide all workers with radiation dosimeters, which measures exposure to radiation. TEPCO only gave them to the group leaders. There were not enough dosimeters to go around, since many were damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Government regulations require all workers be given dosimeters when working in hazardous environments.

TEPCO responded to these allegation by saying the worker was in an area that did not contain high radiation levels and giving dosimeters to group leaders was substantial. They noted they have been compiling with safety regulations

According to the Ministry of Health, TEPCO was supposed to protect its workers and assure them of their safety.

“If they neglected this, it is a serious problem,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the ministry will pursue its investigation of TEPCO.

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