Day 497 It’s clear where TEPCO’s interests lie

If this doesn’t close the case on whether or not TEPCO is concerned more about human life than profits…

From Fukushima-Diary at:

Fukushima worker was ordered to shield dosimeter with lead cover to make integral dose look low

Posted by Mochizuki on July 20th, 2012

Fukushima workers were ordered to shield their dosimeter with lead covers to make the integral dose look lower than actual. The lead cover has a few mm of thickness. Some of the workers admitted they covered the dosimeters with lead cases in the interview with Asahi newspaper.

They are working for one of the subcontract companies called “build-up” [Link].
On 12/1/2011, 10 of the workers were ordered to shield the dosimeters called APD, but 3 of them rejected it. In the evening of 12/2/2011, those workers and 3 managers had a discussion at the hotel, where they used as lodging house. The workers recorded the conversation by mobile phone to publish the fact that they were to shield their dosimeter. The manager (54) who gave them order is denying the contents of recorded conversation. He’s denying that he ordered them to shield or some of the workers actually covered it with lead case.
The company “build-up” is a construction and temporary staffing company under TOKYO ENERGY & SYSTEMS INC [Link], which is a group company of Tepco.
The slogan of “build-up” is Make clients 120% content and make employees 120% happy.





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More over at EX-SKF:

Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Subcontractor in Namie-machi Told Its Workers to Use Lead Casing Over their Dosimeters to Protect Radiation “Allowance”

Mr. Tomohiko Suzuki, journalist who went to work at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant last year to report how it really was in the plant, said the workers use a variety of ways to lower (i.e. fake) the radiation exposure as measured by their dosimeters. One of the ways is to simply hand the dosimeter to a person who is not entering the high-radiation areas; another way is to flip the dosimeter in the pocket so that it won’t measure radiation as much.

Here’s a new one, decidedly more effective. A subcontractor in Namie-machi, Fukushima who contracts work from one of the 1st-tier TEPCO subcontractors supposedly told its workers to cover their dosimeters with lead plates when working at the plant last year.

Asahi Shinbun reveals in the article below (7/21/2012) that the paper obtained the recording of the company’s executive telling workers to do so:

[snip translation of article in Asahi Shinbun]

NHK also says the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor is investigating the company.

Two levels removed, TEPCO sits pretty with plausible deniability. TEPCO doesn’t force any subcontractors to fake the radiation levels. The subcontractors themselves do, each deciding what is best for the company in order to secure the work for the workers and to get the job done.

No one investigates TEPCO. No one will, as it is now practically owned by the national government.

The nuclear power plants in Japan have been supported by the companies like this Namie-machi subcontractor. Without them, there would have been no nuclear power plant, anywhere in Japan. And now, without them, there will soon be no skilled workers at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. And who is going to decommission all the other nuclear power plants in Japan? Decommissioning the plants cannot happen all at the same time.

PM NOda declared the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident “over” in December last year, soon after these workers insulated the pipes around Reactors 1 through 4, wearing dosimeters covered with lead plates. And his government goes after this subcontractor. What a joke.

Read the entire article at:
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And from BBC:

Japan to probe Tepco radiation cover-up claim

Workers remove components at the Fukushima Daiichi plant (19 July 2012)
Nine workers are reported to have put lead shields on their radiation dosimeters to disguise their total exposure

A report in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said a subcontractor for plant operator Tepco told workers to put lead shields around radiation detection devices.

The aim was for workers to stay below safe exposure limits, the paper said.

There has been no comment from the construction subcontractor, Build-up.

The Fukishima plant was badly damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Cooling systems to reactors were knocked out, leading to meltdowns and the release of radioactivity.

Tens of thousands of residents were evacuated from an exclusion zone around the plant.

The report in the Asahi Shimbun on Saturday said an executive at construction firm Build-Up told about 10 of its workers to cover their dosimeters with lead casings when working in areas with high radiation.

Article continues at:

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More on Hatoyama switching to the citizens’ side of the issue:

Former Japan Leader Joins Protest Over Atomic Plant Restarts

By Isabel Reynolds – Jul 20, 2012 7:39 PM GMT+0900

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama joined a weekly protest outside current leader Yoshihiko Noda’s official residence today against the re-start of nuclear power plants.

Hatoyama broke ranks with the ruling Democratic Party for the second time in less than a month, after he voted against Noda’s sales-tax increase in the lower house of parliament on June 26. He has said in the past he may leave the party, a move that could deprive Noda of his majority in the lower house and put the government at risk.

 Article continues at:

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Published on Friday, July 20, 2012 by Common Dreams

Ex-Prime Minister Joins Anti-Nuclear Rally in Japan

– Common Dreams staff

Yukio Hatoyama, an ex-prime minster of Japan, joined a weekly anti-nuclear protest outside current Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s office on Friday.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama at an anti nuclear rally in front of the Japanese Prime Minister’s official residence in Tokyo on Friday. (photo: AFP)

The action takes place during a week in which a second nuclear reactor was restarted, despite concerns that it sits on an active fault line.

Hatoyama told protesters, “I regret that politics has strayed far from the people’s wishes.”

“We must protect the new trend of democracy you represent. We must stop the restart of nuclear power plants,” the 65-year-old politician, who served until June 2010, said.

Anti-nuclear sentiment is extremely high in Japan with regular actions against nuclear power.  On Monday tens of thousands rallied in Tokyo in an anti-nuclear protest.

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New “Hero” for Friday Protesters in Tokyo: Former PM Yukio Hatoyama

also known as “space alien” among his critics for his off-the-wall remarks in the past. True to this moniker, Mr. Hatoyama said he would go inside the PM’s Official Residence and tell the prime minister to listen to the protesters, and he actually did (PM NOda was not there). Good for him on that.

According to the Jiji article below, Prime Minister NOda was as far away possible from Tokyo on Friday. He was in Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu. Noda has apparently been complaining to his guards that he cannot freely go out for a drink on Friday evening because of the protest.

Article continues at:

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***This is important. His is a special perspective on Hiroshima and on Fukushima. Click on the link and view.***

Born in 1921 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Kikujiro Fukushima came to Tokyo in 1960 and started his career as a professional photographer. The key themes of his career include the nuclear bombings, social and political affairs, military issues and environmental topics. He has published a number of photo collections, including “Atomic Bomb: Record of an Atomic Bomb Survivor,” as well as several essays and commentaries. He does not belong to any political party nor has he any political affiliation. He currently lives in Yanai, Yamaguchi Prefecture, with his dog.

From the documentary film “JAPAN LIES”

[From Senrinomichi’s Facebook Page:]

Kikujiro Fukushima is one of the great Japanese photojournalists of all time. At 91 years old, weighing just 37 kg after three operations for cancer, he is still active. Last year he travelled to Itate to film the aftermath of the triple disaster, just as he had travelled to Hiroshima regularly from 1945. A film about Fukushima san – Japan lies -is opening in Japan next month.

View clips from the film and a selection of his photography at:

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Expert on BBC: Like setting off a nuclear bomb in Eastern Europe? Fire fears for dying radioactive tree plantations around Chernobyl

Title: Chernobyl’s radioactive trees and the forest fire risk
Source: BBC News
Author: Patrick Evans
Date:  6 July 2012 at 20:30 ET


Chernobyl Forestry Enterprise is now planting small new pine stands which it plans to harvest in 80 years’ time. But there are serious problems with the rest of Chernobyl’s extensive pine plantations.

Pine damages easily. Wind blows it down. Insects infest it. Drought makes brush into perfect tinder which can all too easily catch fire. And these dying radioactive plantations are considered too dangerous and expensive to clear.

If ignited, one expert likens the potential effect to setting off a nuclear bomb in Eastern Europe. Wind could carry radioactive smoke particles large distances, not just in Ukraine, but right across the continent.

To help establish or disprove such hypotheses, [Sergiy Zibtsev, a professor from the Forestry Institute at the Kiev University of Life Sciences] has come to Chernobyl to gather data about a very large fire which spread unchecked and destroyed a huge area of Scots pine in 1992. A colleague is preparing a scientific paper on the fire’s consequences, which are still largely unknown.



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Sham hearings on nuclear power

The government on July 14 began a series of public hearings on the future weight of nuclear power in Japan’s electricity generation. They are being held in 11 cities and the last hearing will take place on Aug. 4. Although the government says the hearings are a chance for it to hear what the people have to say, clearly they are just formality and the government has no intention of promoting informed public discussions on the matter.

In the hearings held so far, three people at each hearing were selected by lot to express opinions on one of the following three scenarios: reducing the weight of nuclear power to zero percent, 15 percent or 20 to 25 percent in 2030, from the 26 percent in fiscal 2010. Thus nine people expressed their opinions in each hearing. Each speaker was allowed to speak only 10 minutes, with no question and answer sessions. Besides the speakers, an additional 100 to 200 people, also chosen by lot, were allowed to attend the hearings. But they had to submit their opinions in writing.

Article continues at:

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Chugoku Electric intended to dispatch worker to public hearing to support nuclear power

A Chugoku Electric Power Co. internal document is seen saying that it intends to dispatch an employee to attend a hearing on energy policy to express the company's view on atomic power. (Mainichi)
A Chugoku Electric Power Co. internal document is seen saying that it intends to dispatch an employee to attend a hearing on energy policy to express the company’s view on atomic power. (Mainichi)

HIROSHIMA — Chugoku Electric Power Co. intended to dispatch an employee to a government-led public hearing here on energy policy to express the firm’s view on nuclear power, an internal document obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun shows.

This is the first time that it has come to light that an electric power supplier attempted as an entity to have an employee attend a hearing, which is aimed at determining the ratio of atomic power to Japan’s total power consumption in 2030.

Article continues at:

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Hellbent on destruction

Oi nuclear plant’s No. 4 reactor begins generating power

TSURUGA, Japan (Kyodo) — The No. 4 reactor at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture started generating and transmitting electricity Saturday, its operator Kansai Electric Power Co. said.

Power transmission from the 1.18-million-kilowatt reactor will cover the Kansai area in western Japan and part of Fukui Prefecture along the Sea of Japan, the operator said, adding the reactor is expected to start full-capacity generation next Wednesday after gradually raising power output.

Article continues at:

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From ENENEWS at:

Fuel assemblies placed in special container after cleaning, not yet transferred into shared pool — No “major abnormality” in external appearance or radiation levels

Title: Second fuel assembly pulled from reactor 4′s pool
Source: Kyodo
Date: Friday, July 20, 2012


Tepco is examining the extent of damage to the stored fuel before starting the full removal of fuel assemblies, which is to begin in December 2013.


As was the case with the fuel assembly taken out Wednesday, Tepco used a crane to remove the second one from the pool on the fifth floor of the reactor building, cleaned it with pure water and placed it in a special container, the sources said.

The fuel assemblies in the special containers will be transferred to a so-called shared pool


Tepco has refused to disclose any information on the operation, citing nuclear security concerns.

The sources said the utility did not find any major abnormality in the first assembly in terms of radiation levels or its external appearance.





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