Fukushima Daiichi Employee: Shortage of nuclear workers is becoming real — More and more companies to close as personal dose limits are exceeded

Published: July 6th, 2012 at 12:09 am ET
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Tweet from Fukushima Daiichi worker @Happy11311 translated by Fukushima Diary:

July 5, 2012 at 7:17a Tweet

I’ve been tweeting about this since last year, but I think the shortage of skillful nuclear workers is becoming real. Especially Fukushima workers can’t get the next job because they have exceeded the yearly dose limit, more and more sub-contract companies will have to be closed. Actually some of the nuclear workers and sub-contract companies are struggling to continue working.

Published: July 6th, 2012 at 12:09 am ET
By
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21 comments

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21 comments to Fukushima Daiichi Employee: Shortage of nuclear workers is becoming real — More and more companies to close as personal dose limits are exceeded

  • charlie3

    Send in all the TEPCO executives and all the pro-nuclear professors who have been telling us that radiaition is harmless, and let them deal with running the situation at Fukushima for a while.


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    • richard richard

      yes, send in the TEPCO executives, and don't even bother with dosimeters, because as far as they are concerned there is no drama with rads. I want to see how long they can stand for.


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    • unsub unsub

      They will never send in their "elite" core of Tokyo/Kyoto university graduates. It is much more likely that once they have exhausted the regular workers,"solider" class, they will begin to invite job applicants from Gaijin (foreigners).


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  • weeman

    They knew this would happen, you would think that higher authority would have all engineering schools up and ready by now to replace workers.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    All for stupid electricity. Replacing workers that get their bodies filled with radiation, with new workers. People are expendable, right?


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  • charlie3

    You are assuming that TEPCO is competent, organized, and responsible. *laughs bitter laugh*


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  • Noah

    The Electric Bill from Japan

    "We all end up paying for the electric bill from Japan."


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  • patb2009

    The Japanese could hire them from China?

    but in reality the workers are just changing employers and going way past their limits.


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  • scintillator

    This is where it will really start getting expensive:

    If the pool of domestic workers is drying up, there is no other choice but to import them. This happens all the time around the globe for any number of large scale projects. I saw it when I lived in Taiwan. I saw it when I lived in the jungles of West Africa. Just not at the scope of what will be needed at Fukushima, nor the level of danger involved.

    Sure, the Japanese government could force broad participation by the Japanese Defense Forces, but that would not last long. Talk about demoralization of the troops. The recruitment pipeline would dry up within an hour of the announcement.

    Nope. One can assume that the sheer number of workers they will need over the coming years to stabilize this facility due to the high radiation levels and the rapid maxing of accumulated dose will never be met from within. They will come from outside.

    Now think about this… Those smart enough to understand what has taken place at the plant and the ongoing dangers will stay far far away.

    Logic then dictates that a majority of the fresh bodies rotating through the site, wherever they come from, will have an intelligence quotient from the opposite side of the spectrum.

    Not good. Not good at all.

    This sucks. I have been to Japan many times. Wonderful people, wonderful culture and Japanese women are some off the most beautiful on the planet (then again, I say this about all women, but I digress…).


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  • Did anyone consider that the employees will be bringing the contamination to all future employment positions throughout their lifetime…


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  • scintillator

    Tacoma,

    Yea, the ramifications are broad and deep, not only for the individual lives, but the country as a whole.

    My personal belief is that Japan is screwed. Finished. I believe their government and industrial leaders know it, as do ours. I further believe that an effort is underway just to control the descent.

    The impact is so great on every level of life in Japan (personal health, public health, food supply, water supply, waste collection and treatment, agriculture, manufacturing, exports, etc.) that the totality of the impact will continue to mount.

    They feed the school children KNOWN contaminated food, allow them to play in contaminated yards and intentionally avoid broad health monitoring efforts. Kinda like an intentional effort to screw over the gene pool.

    Shit, they threaten with arrest merchants to choose not to sell products from the worst hit prefectures. They intentionally export contaminated fish (this according to Japanese government fisheries records) and dump radioactive waste in Tokyo Bay.

    The true health impact will take decades to unfold, though this site has chronicled ample evidence of the probs already beginning to manifest.

    Then consider the demographics of the country are askew with elderly and the soon to be.

    The fiscal condition of the country is an astronomical figure of debt

    When you pull back and try to take in the totality of the problems, there is but one overriding question in my mind:

    What do you do with 120+…


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    • scintillator

      What do you do with 120+ million people?


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      • Seitsukie

        I imagine that, if you are humane and are not primarily concerned with yourself or being limited by economical concerns, you help people the best that you can, limited as that often may be in situations like this- be it through providing insight and information as best you can, or personally assisting and giving to the people in need.

        If you are the government or the international community at official levels, I suppose you leave them to die over generations until they are doomed to functionally become extinct, as a few articles on ENENews have remarked/documented is occurring to the Belarusian people. I believe the last article I read on it had doctors and scientists giving them a few generations at most before they become a terminal group, what with the 20% rate of birth for healthy children in the areas worst affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe.

        The Central Government of Japan in recent months asked Russia to give them the Kuril Islands for what they called an inevitable relocation of 40 million people- which shocked the Kremlin, but not to the point of honoring the request.


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      • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

        Fukushima Crisis Total Cost Up To $10 TRILLION Dollars; via A Green Road Blog
        http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/06/fukushima-crisis-total-cost-up-to-10.html


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  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    If I may carry this somber nighttime discussion into the light of day, Japan has suffered from two problems for several decades. 1. Stagnant econmy. 2. Aging population. Both problems will now get worse at an accelerating rate. As awareness of the Fukucatastrophie spreads, people will leave goods manufactured in Japan on the shelves, preferring not to risk purchasing contaminated goods from Japan. Japan was the largest harvester of Pacific seafood, an industry now in a death spiral. Add in the decline in productivity from evacuations and the destruction of businesses in the path of the tsunami on 311, and you see an economy in a pretty steep decline, as will become increasingly evident over time.
    Japan's Population was 128,083,960 in 2008. According to Wikipedia, "Japan's population will keep declining by about one million people every year in the coming decades, which will leave Japan with a population of 87 million in 2060. By that time, more than 40% of the population is expected to be over the age of 65". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Japan. These are pre-Fuku estimates. The reality is that the Fuku bodycount will mount over the next 20 or 30 years, and this already steep decline will become precipitous. Bottom line: Japan is toast. :(


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  • mungo mungo

    japan is toast…Lakes across eastern Japan are being contaminated with radioactive cesium from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and scientists are warning of a growing problem in Tokyo Bay..
    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201207050068


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  • greensnotbubble

    What is going to happen when there are no workers left…..Demonic meltdown of all the reactors in Japan…..eventually I think this will happen. Especially with no one to care for them…..The experienced ones are already gone or dead…..Now the workforce there is getting weaker and less experienced… more and more so each day. Amatures should not run nuke stations…. children should not fly airplanes either………get it?


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  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    Workers are progressively becoming less competent? Less educated? Why, soon the level of intelligence of the workers will rival that of the fools who designed these nuke plants in the first place. (Great going, GE :) You bring SUCH bad things to life!) Locate nuke plants over fault lines? Put nuke plants on rivers, on lakes, on Oceans? Design containments so small they can contain nothing? Use zirconium to encase nuke fuel? (zirconium+cesium=Boom!) Put spent fuel pools 100' in the air, right next to reactors? Don't construct a repository for spent fuel, even after all temporary SFPs are full? Relicense old nuke plants that are beyond their design lifetimes for 20 or 40 more years? Use a fuel that remains radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years to generate power for only a year or two? Why are there so many jokes about how utterly clueless engineers are? Great performance, nuke industry!


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  • chrisk9

    They can find bodies to do many tasks either in Japan or elsewhere, but the problems is finding certified welders, boilermakers and electricians. None of the people in these crafts wants to be in a situation like Fukushima, and many do not want to take the doses that will be required. Any yearly dose above 50 milliseverts will limit the possibility of work at another nuclear plant for many years. Even in the US these plants can not find enough welders at times.
    But it is a question of economics also. If TEPCO would pay enough to foreign workers they could find them, and use interpreters to follow them around. That is what TEPCO did when I worked there, they paid GE about $150 an hour for our services (we got less than $20/hr) and provided full time interpreters.
    BTW workers do not spread contamination with them from place to place after working there and getting a dose except possibly in minute (non detectable) traces in their urine. (very rare-almost impossible)


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