Another worker 'forgets' to wear dosimeter at Fukushima nuclear plant

August 11, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

An employee of a subcontractor worked at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Aug. 10 without wearing a personal dosimeter, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The employee, who is in his 50s and works for a subcontractor to Toden Kogyo Co., a TEPCO subsidiary, spent 90 minutes going about his tasks without wearing the device.

An employee of another TEPCO subcontractor is known to have also worked at the Fukushima plant without a dosimeter on Aug. 3 (ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201208040044).

TEPCO, acknowledging delays in taking prompt response measures, began taking steps from the evening of Aug. 10 to ensure that all workers wear dosimeters.

Although the worker on Aug. 10 was quoted as saying he "forgot" to wear his dosimeter, TEPCO said it is investigating the matter.

Radiation dose readings for other employees working in the same area indicate that the worker was exposed to a dose of 0.03 millisievert.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Aug. 10 ordered nuclear plant operators across Japan to strengthen their radiation control measures, including supplying sufficient numbers of personal dosimeters.

The ministry is trying to ascertain how and why the employees were able to work without dosimeters at the nuclear plant. It plans to issue new instructions to prevent a recurrence.

Also on Aug. 10, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency released preliminary results of safety inspections at the Fukushima plant.

NISA noted that no measures were in place to prevent the falsification of dose readings. The nuclear watchdog said it will decide on response measures, including the issuance of an operational improvement order, after receiving investigation results from TEPCO.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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A worker returns a dosimeter to a counter at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Feb. 20. (Pool)

A worker returns a dosimeter to a counter at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Feb. 20. (Pool)

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  • A worker returns a dosimeter to a counter at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Feb. 20. (Pool)

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