Gundersen: Concern an even larger calamity is coming at Fukushima — Guardian: Workers passing out within minutes of arriving at plant; Alcohol abuse a problem, men working with ‘the shakes’; Insiders say they’re suffering health problems (AUDIO)

Published: October 15th, 2013 at 3:38 pm ET
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27 comments


The Guardian, Oct. 15, 2013: [...] men working inside the plant are suffering from plummeting morale, health problems and anxiety about the future, according to insiders [...] the cleanup is entering its most precarious stage since the meltdown in March 2011. [...] complaints from hoteliers and inn-keepers about drink-fuelled fights. [...] A 42-year-old contract worker, who asked not be named, confirmed that alcohol abuse had become a problem among workers. “Lots of men I know drink heavily in the evening and come to work with the shakes the next day. I know of several who worked with hangovers during the summer and collapsed” [...] Another worker [...] said he had seen hungover colleagues collapse with heatstroke just minutes after beginning work. [...] “I’m very worried about the labour shortage. If they don’t do something about it soon, the employment system at Fukushima Daiichi will collapse first, not the plant” [said a former Tepco employee of 14 years] [...] as concern grows over Tepco [...] starting next month with the removal of 1,300 spent fuel assemblies from the top of reactor No 4 – the unfolding human crisis is being largely ignored. [...]

WBKM, Oct. 13, 2013 – Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Chief Engineer (at 0:45 in): They’ve had a series of calamities. When you get a series of small calamities that usually implies that there’s a larger calamity on the horizon. [...]

Full broadcast here

Published: October 15th, 2013 at 3:38 pm ET
By

27 comments

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27 comments to Gundersen: Concern an even larger calamity is coming at Fukushima — Guardian: Workers passing out within minutes of arriving at plant; Alcohol abuse a problem, men working with ‘the shakes’; Insiders say they’re suffering health problems (AUDIO)

  • weeman

    This is a very stressful job that they perform and Like any high stress job of this nature, you must rotate the workers or there is no hope, so what do you expect, similar to fighter pilots in second world war?
    It's okay for a hour, it's ok for a day, but I personally would not stay much longer?


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  • End of the Road

    What? TEPCO doesn't have a good Human Resources Department?? Why am I not surprised?


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    • dka

      TEPCO has an HR Dept. That's what HR does, they enforce the company policies (TEPCO policies are to save cash, as much as possible, at the expense of workers, even if it means to neglect them).
      The Japanese governement and TEPCO want Japanese people to blame the workers for the all the problems at Fukushima. It helps if they don't have a good image.


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    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      Yes, this is all very disturbing and probably why Bobby's from all around the world have not showed up to help..

      Just another good reason to ban such Nuclear Technology from the face of the Earth..


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      • hbjon hbjon

        Reports like this conflict with the idea that harmful effects from radiation are too subtle to notice and will not manifest into disease for years.

        Shakes are a symptom of neurological damage. The most fragile system of our biology is the nervous system, because your neurons make up part of the nervous system.

        The report says "workers" are passing out. That is plural. Men have the shakes. That also suggests more than one man. One gets the feeling that they're not isolated incidents. People getting hurt by radiation is completely unacceptable.


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  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    Don't worry, help is on the way! Fukuppy will save us!!!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-10-15/step-aside-obamacare-helpline-here-fukushimas-latest-mascot-fukuppy

    And the newer, improved version with Extra Superpowers!!!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-10-15/real-fukuppy

    Bringing good news to life!!!


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Going near the plant is causing illness and premature death.

    And all for nothing.

    Wretched man-made nuclear technology …isn't one good thing about it.

    We want it gone.


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  • "…the employment system at Fukushima Daiichi will collapse first, not the plant…"

    IMO – The majority of the Nuclear Plants located at the Fukushima facility have already collapsed.
    (blown up and melted too)

    Nobody wants to work on a sinking ship and/or especially one that's already sunk. The risks of not coming back up for air at all at some point will increase… and for what?


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  • Usefulbreather

    Considering the extremely sensitive nature of the fuel storage and how gently it must be handled to be removed properly, "The Shakes," sounds like the worst possible condition for a cleanup worker.


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  • sangell

    Finding and retaining competent workers is going to be a serious problem for Japan going forward. What young Japanese student is going to want to study nuclear anything when there is no more nuclear industry in Japan? What skilled tradesman will want to work at Fukushima in the years and decades to come especially when the health effects are no longer a statistical probability but a real flesh and bone reality?

    They are either going to have to seriously increase the pay, import foreign workers or require those with the technical skills needed to work at Fukushima and probably all three as this mess drags on.


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  • We Not They Finally

    They are still going to try to remove the 1300 twisted, fused, toppling fuel assemblies from reactor no. 4? That's almost crazier than keeping them there. Is the idea to kill us all off at once, so they can finally say that it (us) has been "taken care of"?


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  • scottyji scottyji

    >"Finding and retaining competent workers is going to be a serious problem for Japan going forward."

    I believe many of the laborers "dose out" pretty quick. Also, the contractor and sub-contractor "chain-of-command" situation there is very different from U.S. methods. Check out this story and you'll see the problem =

    http://no-border.asia/archives/9257


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  • Daisy207

    Wait just a minute – doesn't someone have to keep pumping water for the next – say – 500,000 years or more???


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  • wetpwcas1 wetpwcas1

    Unit 4 may drop to the floor, if so the steam of radiation will again hit Japan & right on over to the USA, Canda & China. The it wraps around the world & it will not take very long as the Jet Steam in the USA dips south to bring in winter!

    This a world problem, period! Ground Control this is Major Tom, I think My Space Ship is..-.–.–.– we have lost the the ship, all contact is gone, just like Fukushima is & they knew it 10 days after 3/11/2011, so to we do now, bend over & kiss all of our childrens futures good bye!

    Now seroius, action is required from all nations, the ROTHSCHILDS HAS THE FUNDING & OWNS THE COMPAIES TO DO THIS BUT THE SIGN ON THEIR DOOR SERVERS SATAN, I WILL WILL ONLY TAKE HELP FROM THE KING OF KINGS, GOD & HIS SON JESUS! THE LIGHT THAT WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!


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  • FXofTruth

    So we have roaring drunks doing really critical work with deadly nuclear material that will go critical if it touches each other….well I'm glad we have the best, brightest, and most conscientious workers doing this life & death job! WTF?

    We should train monkeys to do the work. At least they won't be getting drunk every night and showing up hung over…losers!


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    • Jebus Jebus

      And thats another shining truth about nuclear power.
      When have you ever seen a nuclear physicist, a CEO of a nuclear firm, or a pro nuke politician, working along side of the "expendables" in a nuclear disaster.
      The "expendables" actually doing the work in the trenches are the only ones who deserve any credit.
      Nuclear. It's all great until it isn't, then you see the ones who know the most, are the furthest away…


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      • Shillbullshit007

        the spent fuel pools already burned in 2011 its all in the FOIA documents….pools went dry n burned up eh ive even got the video…not a joke i got the video…so gunderson is a liar n accessory to the murder of people at least in the U.S. also blaming alcohol abuse for the behavior of people who are getting lethal doses of radiation is extremely distastful….remember the animals were attacking people…radiation messes your mind up…neh literally drives you insane so arnie you know what you are….nice red hoody…yeh nuclear yes men slagging off dying men who do their best…just shows what total scum they are…nothing suprising i mean eh theyve wiped us out…great job arnie


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  • patb2009

    they've been cutting the salary and benefits to the workers, and the economy of japan has been recovering. It's also become obvious that working at Fuku is a death trap.

    so now they get the bottom of the barrel work force.


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  • Wyakin Wyakin

    Yes, but it is much worse and nefarious than the portrait painted thusfar.

    The truth is that if you want to find out what is happening in the nuclear workforce, you must look at the basic inputs of production.

    Uranium futures currently are at substantially depressed prices,which is good news from a nonnuclear perspective. However, the FU human capital is becoming a premium.

    There is no evidence from the press or the Japanese MOFA that there has been a lifting of restriction of foreigner immigration. This does not reflect the behavior or contribution to the workforce from foreign contractors or non-traditional extra legal sources.

    My apologies to those who cannot read German. The link below provides a 06/09/11 account of worker conditions. There is no evidence these conditions have changed. Right click to translate to English. The result appears to be a reasonable translation of the German to English.

    http://www.ad.nl/ad/nl/1013/Buitenland/article/detail/2893265/2011/09/06/Fukushima-brengt-uitbuiting-in-kerncentrales-aan-het-licht.dhtml

    In addition, the following provides an insight into the influence of the Yakuza to the Fukushima disaster recovery:
    http://www.japanfocus.org/-Andrew-Rankin/3688

    Note the section titled “Yakuza response to the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.” To this day, the same behavior and business model proliferate.
    (Cont)


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  • Wyakin Wyakin

    Lastly, I’ve noticed a large number of job openings related to nuclear safety and disaster mitigation, particularly by the Shaw Group, jobs both in Japan and the US related to the “Fukushima Project” mechanical/electric/structural engineering/ scheduling/project management and so on.

    Example: Shaw requisition number: PPSV38280; Job title: Electrical Work Planner-Fukushima Project; based out of Buchanan NY.

    There are scores of such solicitations, including some for the purpose of US nuclear operators mitigating risk based on the FU lessons learned.

    About the Shaw Group from Wikipedia: In 2006 the company acquired a 20% interest in the Westinghouse Electric Company, the rest majority owned by Toshiba. In September 2011, Toshiba was reported to be in talks to acquire the Shaw stake.[2] Toshiba is paying $1.6 billion for the 20% stake under a Shaw-owned option, Shaw CEO J.M. Bernhard Jr. said. Shaw said it was the 50% rise in the yen on its yen-denominated debt over five years which led it to exercise its sale option. The option was part of the 2006 purchase terms.[3] The transaction was completed in January 2013, and brought Toshiba's stake in Westinghouse to 87%.

    Many conclusions can be drawn from these facts, but conflicts of interest clearly exist in such a financial tumultuous environment and workers will become scarce.

    The involvement of the Yakuza explains why many citizens, and perhaps politicians, are reluctant and scared to take a political stance…


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  • mungo mungo

    it's under control, new workers!!!!!TEPCO to add 80 more to workforce to improve toxic water management
    TOKYO, Oct. 15, Kyodo

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday told nuclear regulators that it is assigning an addition 80 workers to manage a massive amount of radioactive water accumulating at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in order to improve its efforts to deal with the problem.

    The additional workforce will include 20 employees from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex in Niigata Prefecture, which TEPCO is seeking to restart to improve its business situation as the utility's business situation has worsened following the 2011 nuclear crisis.

    The plan was included in a report the company compiled at the request of the Nuclear Regulation Authority following a series of water leak incidents at the Fukushima plant.


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  • Shillbullshit007

    the spent fuel pools already burned in 2011 its all in the FOIA documents….pools went dry n burned up eh ive even got the video…not a joke i got the video…so gunderson is a liar n accessory to the murder of people at least in the U.S. also blaming alcohol abuse for the behavior of people who are getting lethal doses of radiation is extremely distastful….remember the animals were attacking people…radiation messes your mind up…neh literally drives you insane so arnie you know what you are….nice red hoody…not…are you guys ready for the end?


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Concern an even larger calamity is coming at Fukushima".
    What did Arnie just say here..?..(zip)
    I wish I could say such vague things and it count for something….


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  • ftlt

    This is an old story or at least a line of reporting that has been addressed on here before – over a year ago if my noodle is still working …

    Not saying that it is unimportant… Just a tid bit


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