EX-SKF blogger reports on a Japanese weekly magazine’s report quoting 4 Fukushima workers. They are quoted anonymously (apparently the standard MO for Japanese media) which raises questions about reliability. But they are interesting and I suspect there is at least a grain of truth in them. EX-SKF provides the original Japanese plus his translation.

Shukan Gendai weekly magazine online has an article featuring four workers at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant telling the magazine that it’s yakuza-and-rank-amateur hour over there.

Unlike interviews done by foreign media where the plant workers and TEPCO managers reveal their names and face no obvious repercussions, Japanese media almost always quote workers anonymously; Gendai is no exception.

There is no way of proving or disproving what they are saying, and there were in the past some extremely tall tales supposedly coming from the anonymous plant workers particularly in the first year of the accident. But their comments in the Gendai article are still extremely revealing, and they do put things in a certain perspective like those dead rats in the switch boxes – here and here.

via Anonymous Workers at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant Blast Government, TEPCO, Speak of Radiation Dangers at the Plant: “It’s Yakuza and Rank Amateurs at the Plant” | EXSKF.

Here are some excerpts. Click the link above to read more.

作業員C 汚染水タンクの設置当初から水漏れは懸念されていましたけど、そうした声は東電に伝わらない。東電はタンクをパトロールしていると言ってます が、1000基あるタンクを二人で2~3時間で見るわけでしょ? 長く見積もっても1基あたり30秒弱。連結部分は数万ヵ所あるわけで、とてもチェックで きない。

Worker C: From the time when the contaminated water storage tanks were first installed, people have been worried about leaks. But those worries don’t reach TEPCO. TEPCO says they are patrolling the tank areas, but 1,000 tanks per two workers in 2 to 3 hours? At most, less than 30 seconds per tank. There are tens of thousands of joints, and it is impossible to check them all.

作業員B せんだって、台風が上陸したときなんて、大雨で側溝の水が溢れそうになったので、海に捨てました。流した水の放射線量を測定しなかったことを責められましたが、あえて測定せんのですよ。数値によっては犯罪になってまうから。

Worker B: The other day when a typhoon hit, heavy rain almost caused the water in the drain to overflow. So we released the water into the ocean. We were accused of not measuring the radiation before we released, but there was a reason why we didn’t measure; depending on the result of the measurement it would have been a criminal act.

作業員B でも、福島第一原発には、地雷みたいに、とんでもない高線量のところがまだまだある。原子炉建屋の山側の道を車で走ると、いまもピューッと線量 があがりますよ。特に2号機と3号機の間。あそこは加速して突っ切ります。3月にネズミが仮設の配電盤をかじって停電したよね? どこが停電したか、みん なわかっとったけど、線量が高いと有名なところだったから、誰も現場に行きたがらんかった。

Worker B: There are still many locations with extremely high radiation at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, like landmines. When we drive on the road on the mountain-side [west] of the reactor building, the radiation level rises rapidly. Particularly between Reactor 2 and Reactor 3. We put on the gas and drive fast there. Remember the power outage in March, caused by a rat chewing the wires in a temporary switch board? We all knew the location, which was famous [among the workers] for high radiation. No one wanted to go there.

作業員A 熟練作業員の不足は深刻。素人が10人いるより、技術を持った一人のほうが仕事は捗る。震災後、原発作業員の年間被曝量の上限が50から250 ミリシーベルトに上げられたけど、福島第一原発ではそれでもすぐ、被曝限度を喰ってしまって、働けなくなる。熟練工は『高線量部隊』と呼ばれる、原発によ り近い現場で働くので、だいたい1~2週間で限度オーバーになってしまう。

Worker A: Lack of skilled workers is very serious. More work gets done by one skilled worker than by 10 amateurs. After the March 11, 2011 disaster, the upper limit of annual radiation exposure for nuclear plant workers was raised from 50 millisieverts to 250 millisieverts. But at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, workers reach the limit very quickly and cannot work any more. The skilled workers are called “high radiation corps”. They work closer to the reactors, and they exceed the limit in one to two weeks.

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