Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Aug. 13 it will carry out spot checks at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to ensure that workers are carrying dosimeters.
TEPCO officials submitted a list of measures, including the spot checks plan, to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency the same day.
The measures were drawn up after The Asahi Shimbun reported that nuclear plant workers were covering dosimeters with lead plates to keep the radiation dose level readings low.
TEPCO has already announced plans to provide workers with protective gear that has a transparent part on the chest so the dosimeters are visible. It said it will also check that all workers are wearing dosimeters on-site.
Among measures included on the list submitted Aug. 13 was one calling for spot checks. The proposal did not give a frequency for the inspections.
A special measure will be taken when companies that have won contracts for work projects report on workers exposed to more than 5 millisieverts of radiation over the course of a month. In such cases, a comparison will be made between the radiation dose levels recorded for each day, with their accumulated radiation dose level that is recorded on a badge-type dosimeter.
If any worker is found to have a total radiation dose calculated from the daily dosimeter recordings that is at least 20 percent lower than the accumulated amount, the commissioning company will be asked to investigate the cause of the discrepancy.
Commissioning and subcontracting companies will also be asked to look into workers whose average radiation dose levels are less than half the average of all individuals working in the same location.
"I believe we will be able to prevent irregularities through the actions of a single or a few workers," Junichi Matsumoto, acting general director of TEPCO's Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division, said at an Aug. 13 news conference. "It will be much more difficult if an entire work group or company is involved."
A NISA official said strict confirmation will be made to ensure the new measures are being implemented.
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