Fukushima Worker: “Even an elementary-school kid knows TEPCO always lies” — “We have been fooled by the government”

Published: March 11th, 2013 at 11:00 am ET
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Title: Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup Bogged Down in Bureaucracy, Could Take Decades
Source: Daily Beast
Author:  Lennox Samuels
Date: Mar 11, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

[...] Like a growing number of evacuees, plant workers, and ordinary citizens, Monma increasingly distrusts officialdom. Many Japanese say authorities have been incompetent and disorganized, and that they appear to be making it up as they go along—while keeping citizens in the dark.

“As a reconstruction worker, I don’t trust TEPCO and the government,” says Makato Inada. Two years ago he was working at Fukushima Daini, a nuclear plant close to the stricken Daiichi. He agreed to help out at Daiichi, expecting to merely transport materials by car between the two facilities. Instead he worked inside two reactor buildings. Now he lives in temporary housing in Minamisoma with his elderly parents—while his wife and son live far away in Nihonmatsu.

“When I was doing decontamination work, I compared the radiation level on the monitoring post with what was on the dosimeter I always carry,” he says. “It was far lower. I told TEPCO staff, and they said that post was running out of battery. But nobody was buying that.” [...]

“We have been fooled by the government and TEPCO all the time,” Inada says. “They don’t release important information, and there’s not adequate treatment for plant workers, to name a few. We don’t trust them. Nothing has changed in our minds. Even an elementary-school kid knows TEPCO always lies.” [...]

Published: March 11th, 2013 at 11:00 am ET
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3 comments to Fukushima Worker: “Even an elementary-school kid knows TEPCO always lies” — “We have been fooled by the government”

  • Ruminations on Fibbiness

    Is there a framework anywhere in the universe that considers lying as good, or useful or unavoidable?

    I was thinking of Machiavelli and The Prince:

    For Machiavelli, being honest is a surefire way to end up without a kingdom.

    Machiavelli doesn't write that lying is good in and of itself; it is good only when a ruler needs to lie for the sake of the kingdom.

    One can think of other examples, e.g. Gandhi, where the opposite is true and a Kingdom was saved or recovered because of it. Or, the Iraq War, where a Kingdom destroys another Kingdom (and itself) because of a blatant lie. But, as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War and many others, one tiny little lie can give rise to the needless deaths of millions of innocent people.

    So, can we excuse Japan for its blatant lying by reasoning that they need to lie to stop mass panic and save their Kingdom?

    In this case I would think: no.

    In this situation, our lying will kill us.

    Our best chance is full disclosure and blatant truth-telling because the problem is global and affects every Kingdom on the planet for thousands of years to come.


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  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Worker: Dun-dun-dunnnn. The readings are low!

    Tepco: The batteries are low.

    Worker: If the battery is low, change it.

    Tepco: Darn it, Jim, I'm a political manager; I'm not a machine engineer! You are as irritating as that green-blooded Vulcan….

    Dun-dun-dunn


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