japan-electionvia Japan Times / Decemeber 10, 2014 / As Sunday’s snap election nears, many of the people working toward the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant say they want voters to know about their harsh working conditions, insufficient pay and worries of radiation exposure.

Currently some 6,000 people a day are engaged in the decommissioning work at the plant — a process expected to take 30 to 40 years to complete.

Every day, buses and cars carry workers back and forth between the reactor buildings and the nearby J-Village facilities used by Tokyo Electric Power Co. as its forward base and other offices.

“I’m single, so I can somehow manage (with the pay) if I don’t go out to amuse myself, but I don’t think you can make a living if you have a family,” said a man in his 50s who has worked in the plant for three years. He has been engaged in such work as removing debris and setting up tanks to store radioactive water, and is now in charge of removing contaminated water from the reactor building basements. He works for a third-tier subcontractor and makes a monthly salary of less than ¥200,000.

Radiation exposure at the plant remains high, so workers must wear heavy protective clothing and a mask that covers the whole face. It is difficult for them to work more than an hour and a half at a time. Still, they must leave their apartments in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, about 40 km away from the plant, at around 5 a.m. because of the time it takes to pass entrance checks and change clothing.

They share rooms and cars to go to work. Most of them buy their meals at convenience stores. Their only amusement is the occasional visit to a pachinko parlor.

The man said his most recent monthly radiation dosage was 1.8 millisieverts. The law states that a nuclear worker’s radiation dosage should not exceed 100 millisieverts in five years and 50 millisieverts in a year. Since the reference mark in the plant is 20 millisieverts a year, the man’s dosage is nearing its limit, he said.

He says they seldom talk about the election during or after work, and since they go outside only when it’s dark, they don’t see any campaign posters.

“I feel that people are gradually forgetting about the nuclear accident,” he said. “From now, our work will become even harsher because we will have to go inside the reactor buildings, where the radiation level is even higher. I want people to recognize that there are such workplaces.”

SOURCE: Japan Times

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By Broc West| 39 Comments | Featured, News

39 comments

  1. One disgruntled worker does not mean that there are “many” F. Daiichi workers who have the same complaints. With thousands of people working at any job, it is not difficult to find one or a few with complaints about pay and working conditions. Also, the one complainer says wearing protective clothing and being exposed to low levels of radiation makes his working conditions harsh. Cry me a river…

    • You don’t seem to realize the seriousness of radiation? If it is not that serious, then you go out to Japan and help out. At least you’ll be getting paid, correct? 200,000 yen/month aka 1700 usd/month is definitely enough to make up for the possible medical bills you’ll be paying for, for the rest of your life. Can anyone say cancer?

      • You seem to be unaware that you are snarking at a very well educated man on the issue of radiation and cancer. Any parrot of the anti-nuke ilk can say “cancer”. The real question is “can you say hormesis?”

        • 🙂 wow

          if you find yourself well-educated about cancer and radiation, and you believe working in radiation every day for years accounts to ‘hormesis’=has positive effects, I as a 5th-year medical student will tell you you are not at all well-educated, although you seem to be very full of your own intellect for no apparent reason.

          Silly people.

    • You are an idiot! I’m not going to even bother debating with your comment.. Instead I’ll just tell you how closed minded you are! Go clean up the mess in Fukashima nuclear plant smartass!! Go see what it’s like!

      • Nick, f anyone is an idiot, it is you. And it is good that you choose not todebate LC since he would wipe the loor with you!

    • If the job is so great, why don’t you take your happy ass and do it! No, of course not. You are too great to jump off your high horse and put yourself at risk, yet think the value of a lowly workers life is less than your own. People like you are a waste of valuable resources that the rest of the world deserves. Go set yourself on fire and play with gasoline please.

      • Mike,
        I keep ofering to go clean up Fukushima Prefecture for FREE if someone like you will pay my way; travel, room, board, and FedGov perdiem rates. Well? Not that I expect you to come up with the $ since every such loudmouth I’ve run across has been ALL mouth and no action. By the way, I have 5 friends who are willing to also. Maybe you should run a KickStarter if you are too cheap to come up with your own $.

    • Those who complain are probably fired. btw, since 9-11, 80 thousand New York City residents have come down with radiation cancers. WW III is in progress. A few weeks before Fukushima, Japan came out in favor of a Palestinian State. Go figure.

      • 80,000 NYers with RADIATION cancers?? Are you mental? There was no radiation released during 9/11. Woo woo indeed!

    • There are plenty of evidences and documentaries on-line about the harsh conditions and unfair payment that Fukushima liquidators experience. On the other side of the spectrum, TEPCO is making billons in profits. This is called social injustice. The people who work at Fukishmia often belong to the most vulnerable social groups of Japan, including homeless people and nuclear disaster evacuees. Their voices should be recognized and their welfare protected. At the moment they are being exploited by the TEPCO Corporation. Unfortunately, corporations do not have a heart and only care about profits. Leslie, I disagree with your comment.

      • TEPCO workers at Fukushima are treated quite well. The problem is that TEPCO had to increase its work force extremely rapidly to deal with the accident and so they contracted out certain more menial jobs. Some of those contractors subcontracted and some of them treat their workers poorly. Slowly but surely, TEPCO is making improvements on working conditions and contract procedures to improve worker conditions.

        But then, some workers would complain if they had to walk 10m to a solid gold toilet.

    • like you are in a radioactive site working in those conditions? cry a river? wait till your kids end up with deformities and our food is exposed to high levels of cesium 137 and 134 does not just go away it takes about 200 years to disapate and the more levels being released in the atmosphere everyday just continues to build and make matters worse maybe you should read some facts on raditon poisoning before you are so quick to judge on wether its dangerus or not

    • Leslie you ignorant slut! Go do your nails while the rest of society struggles to eek out an existence.

    • You Idiot. Do you know how many storage tanks are now above ground? What will they do with them and another 40 years worth? They aren’t allowed to eat the fish around there but go ahead and feed another can of tuna to kids or yourself.

    • fuku les fuku

    • Americans have no fucking concept of anything!! Hey Leslie you’re a piece of shit and you would never do what these poor people have to do. Fucking dumb bitch, don’t know anything!

  2. Would you like to work there, Leslie? I imagine it’s horribly uncomfortable work, and stories like this are _under_ reported rather than over. If the job market was better, I’d imagine these people would find work somewhere else, and to keep workers the plant would be forced to improve working conditions. But when everybody is crushed under the weight of the system, it becomes normalized, and we get people like you who think this is how it SHOULD be.

    • Having to work in a tyvek suit is a common construction practice. There is nother unusual about it. No, it is not pleasent but it is part of MANY jobs. If you don’t like it, work elsewhere.

  3. I doubt that Leslie has ever been suited up in full gear on a hot day. I wonder if Japan has OSHA.

    • Unpleasent, but hardly unusual. If they don’t like it, they are not slaves. They can leave any time they want to find jobs elsewhere.

  4. I haven’t forgotten.

  5. NRA head signals massive release of tainted water to help decommission Fukushima site

    Tainted Water is just another way to say RADIOACTIVE WATER. Tanaka seems not to give one hoot about the other residents on the planet affected by the NRA’s lying talking heads. The ocean stream will have that RADIOACTIVE WATER to the U.S. probably within weeks, but Tanaka only seems concerned with the residents of Fukushima. DISGUSTING.

    “While (the idea) may upset people, we must do our utmost to satisfy residents of Fukushima,” Tanaka said, adding that the NRA would provide information to local residents based on continuing studies of radioactive elements in local waters.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201412130042

    Kevin Blanch has a Youtube Video about Tanaka’s disinformation, warning graphic language.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_d3kyCNAQQ

    • Tainted means very lightly radioactive. Indeed, the water released will likely have less radioactive energy than the sea water it is released to.

  6. My heart goes out to the people working in the plant and cleaning up the radiation. 30 – 40 years is a lifetime and a life sentence for many of them. I am so grateful for their commitment in cleaning this up. No amount of money per hour can compensate for the exposure that they are getting. Shame on anyone who feels that they are being treated “fairly”.

  7. This man is right, and my heart goes out to him and everyone of his fellows who strives to correct and alleviate one of our collective problems. This man and his fellows are laboring (slaving away really, by the sound of it) for the sake of humanity and the planet at their own risk, and i think we should take this outcry as a sign (one of many we are probably not hearing or seeing) that the morale of these people is quickly falling. This is NOT good and can have disastrous impacts for all of us if we as a global community dont take this opportunity to support these people and their efforts to fix things on our behalf. If their morale falls far enough, as seems evident by this report, then it will compromise their will. When the will is compromised then so is the work that they are doing and ultimately the quality of the job as a whole. This is the real problem because this affects everyone, and if no one supports them and they just keep slaving away for us and eventually do a half-*** job of cleaning up then the quality of life on this planet for everyone, including the people reading this right now, will be compromised. Even if only by a small percentage, and i dont know about any of you but i dont want to be swimming around in ANY amount of radiation if i can help it; let alone letting my future children or grandchildren expose themselves to it. If anyone knows of a way i can be of direct and immediate service to these people and this problem then please let me know. ~Bless You ALL

  8. In Reply to Leslie Corrice:

    The 50-year-old worker who engages in the hard labor of decontaminating a nuclear accident site, who endures an extra-long workday due to processing, who is paid slave wages, and who will probably die an agonizing death due to radiation exposure, is labeled a “cry baby” by Leslie Corrice. To validate such stunning callousness, the author of the comment must replace this “complainer” at the disabled reactor, and after only six months, return to this site to tell us about the fine working conditions, and how well he (or she) lived. I am waiting, Leslie.

  9. the world really needs to focus on this…it is a major issue!!

  10. what is this world coming to ? we dont care about humanity nor our childrens or our future on this planet we are doing a great job of destroying it and procrastinating on fixing it , it sickens me and i fear for my childrens future. what is gonna be done about it? what has ben done?

  11. Who has taken over this website? A planetary survival reality is now reduced to discussion of slave labor working conditions?

    • Your disaster porn fiction was indeed always fiction. The lesser fiction of “slave labor” will also eventually be shunned by those less gullible than yourself (or those you wish to mislead).

  12. to leslie corrice there are very few persons in the workforce who are courageus enough to speak out regarding conditions at fukushima….why dont you go there and work under those conditions youself,then we will knów for sure,take a reading of yourself before and after, you know the routine…terror needs to be experienced,leslie,,compassion requires empathy…..paul w.australia…..

    • Just carry on believing any bad news story Paul, it will confirm your bias and make you comfortable. Don’t worry about reality, evidence, and other disturbing stuff like that. Much easier to just pat yourself on the back for being a nice, “compassionate”, patronizing, gullible terrorist, spreading baseless fear for its own sake.

  13. I agree with you to some extent. The working conditions should be improved. Also the reactor must be far away from the residential area to minimize its toxic effects.

  14. people don’t realize how serious it is. You know how much radiation will be leaked in 30 40 years.
    Damn we really fucked up. How long till one of these accidental at home in NA. Yay keep fuckin frack in I heard they linked it to earthquakes now in the uk. I’m sure they have reactors too. One day we will all have radiation and be dieing from the fish we eat because you know they will keep selling it to us. Good luck people

  15. i think that it’s high time the young people of today put there noggins together and find a way to speed up the time it takes to for the radiation to break down into the ecosystem.

  16. With this problem going on it can cause chain reactions also if that radiation hits the air stream it will be caried straight across the us

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