Japan Times: Doctor warns suffering of Fukushima Daiichi workers could trigger accidents at plant — “Many confessed they have almost zero work motivation”

Published: August 15th, 2012 at 10:22 pm ET


Follow-up to: [intlink id=”ap-fukushima-daiichi-workers-could-try-to-sabotage-plant-warns-their-doctor” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: No. 1 workers’ stress, stigma jeopardizing motivation
Source: The Japan Times Online
Date: Aug. 16, 2012

About 30 percent of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant were suffering from the disorder called posttraumatic stress response when a survey was conducted in May and June 2011, according to a recently published study.


The doctors warn that the discrimination and lack of appreciation are harming the workers’ productivity. [Jun Shigemura, a lecturer at the National Defense Medical College who coauthored the report with three other experts] noted that many confessed they have almost zero work motivation.

“Such low motivation could result in slowing down the restoration process, which will take decades, and possibly trigger accidents,” he said.

Even though the experts said more help is needed, it’s hard to find local help because hospitals in nearby areas have been suffering from a shortage of doctors.

Published: August 15th, 2012 at 10:22 pm ET


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20 comments to Japan Times: Doctor warns suffering of Fukushima Daiichi workers could trigger accidents at plant — “Many confessed they have almost zero work motivation”

  • Sickputer

    Surveyed a year ago…good old Tepkill and their buddy nucleocrats, a year late and a trillion yen short. I guess the next survey will be released in the next decade.

  • VyseLegendaire VyseLegendaire

    Next year's study that this year's workers are radiation injured and the next year we will find out the site has been abandoned altogether. But I thought technology was supposed to increase the speed of communication?

  • ion jean ion jean

    @SickPuter: And Japanese officials are just now coming around for int'l assistance in stabilizing the reactors?? How Hopeless…these workers must see the meltthroughs close up and realize this may be beyond human intervention!

    And U.S. Nucleocrats XCel had to Force Shutdown of Prairie Isl. NPP in Minnesota…check out the natives in an uproar there:


    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      "Twin nuclear reactors and 29 large steel nuclear waste storage casks sit just 600 yards from Prairie Island tribal homes."

      Those Native Americans are screwed already, and have been for as long as those plants were built.

      I will hold them in my prayers.

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    The workers probably realize now that they're "walking dead men"and they'd be the first to know that the place is hopeless. The shortage of Dr.'s began early on in the disaster as most of them left in fear or disgust with TPTB and/or the standing orders NOT to treat radiation exposure victims or speak frankly with patients,media or even amongst their own circles. It's time to start building "the World's 8th Wonder"=a behemoth sarcophagus requiring more concrete and engineering feats than anything ever undertaken before!,Mankind's survival depends on it and it still won't be enuff without a universally adopted policy shift away from nuclear-and SOON!!! Good Luck! We need it….

  • See the classic work of Amory Lovins and John H Price of the early 1970s:Non-Nuclear Futures,Harper Colophon,1975,p15-16:
    Re: worker stress, stigma jeopardising motivation: walking dead men: "technologies are run by people, not by societies". Quoting Edsall:"I believe that the confident advocates of the safety of nuclear power plants base their confidence too narrowly on the safety that is possible to achieve under the most favourable circumstances, over a limited period of time,with a core of highly trained and dedicated personnel. If we take a larger view of human nature and history, I believe that we can never expect such conditions to persist over centuries,much less over millenia.
    (Edsall,J.T.Envir Conserv I,1,32(1974)
    My comment:
    Nuclear Power has been achieved in Japan by a Garrison state,similar to that in India regarding her nuclear power pogroms..a la Kudankulam,Jaitapur,Gorakhpur and others already operating.

  • Maggie123

    I really feel for the workers. I wonder how they are treated by "higher ups" of industry and government. It seems to me they should be treated as heroes – should be given maximum support, including receiving very significant "danger pay" rates. Unless I'm completely confused at the nature of their work and the risks – it seems to me they're in the position of soldiers charged with fighting a terrible battle. I can't imagine day after day, even if breaks are built in, putting one foot in front of the other to get going on a task may well prove deadly. Likely they want to perform with dedication, but day after day … it has to begin take a toll!

  • Sol Man

    We have proven that we can create crises so vast and intolerable that we have not got the ability to effectively and safely respond to them. This was never my vision for the world's future, not that what I believed ever mattered. In the end the mutations will win out and there is not one thing that can be done about it. It was not the poor people that did this to humanity and our planet.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "hospitals in nearby areas have been suffering from a shortage of doctors."

    The canary in the coal mine.

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    "because hospitals in nearby areas have been suffering from a shortage of doctors"

    They can and have left the area. Other professionals will leave too. I wonder where TEPCO thinks it will get more 'workers' to work the site. Anyone want to make a bet they take people out of prisons and offer them a termination of their sentence in return for being allowed to be poisoned to death?

    • andagi andagi

      Dear StPaulScout,
      'I wonder where TEPCO thinks it will get more 'workers' to work the site?'
      This issue is so despicably complex and utterly irresponsible that my 'inconceivable meter' needs recalibrating again!!!

      The link to the following is an article featuring Professor Kazumitsu Nawata. He plans to publish in English soon to 'more broadly publicize the issue'.

      'Kazumitsu Nawata warned in 2008 that the electric power industry’s dependence on contracted workers at nuclear plants would make it more difficult to ensure their safety against radiation and other factors. However, those in the industry shouted down his recommendations, dealing a disheartening blow to his efforts to promote worker safety.

      At a June 23 meeting in Sapporo of the Japanese Economic Association, a joint researcher gave a presentation and said, "The objective of using contracted workers is to avoid responsibilities as an employer and there is the possibility of lowering the standard of safety education…"


      Professor Nawata, you are a brave hero! Welcome to ENENews! All of us here thank you for your courage and determination to continue your research! Good luck!

      nawata教授は、勇敢なヒーローです! enenewsへようこそ! ここでは、私たちのすべてのあなたの研究続行するにはあなたの勇気と決意をいただきありがとうございます。 がんばってください! (babylon 9 translation)

    • andagi andagi

      Dear Folks,
      Keep reading and sharing ENENews! You ARE making a difference 🙂 Thank you Admin!

      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        andagi,I have read and shared ENE News since its inception. When I finally got a few people(exactly 3)out of the probably 100+ people I've talked to,and the last person I enlightened on the subject had no knowledge of it and had a very positive personality and plans for the future. Since learning of Fukushima and the implications of what it implies with regard to the cold reality of what our Govt. leaders are allowing to happen to us,and of course the effects of this ongoing potential ELE's impact on everyone and everything on the planet-it broke him….Somehow I feel "guilty" for being the one who took the positive life force and karma away from another good-hearted person!! I can't even explain it!-How come I feel "worse"about having brought a good person to where I've been for a year and a half and added to "our" anti-nuke numbers, than if I was given the "usual" reaction of ridicule,disbelief and being somehow "unpatriotic" for my "fearmongering" or paranoid delusions??! The MSM "Blackout" and bullshit PR campaign has effectively made it very hard to get through to people and appeal to their common-sense & logic,and even when "their eyes finally open"-it made me feel like The Harbinger of Doom!!…sigh..ughh-what a shitty time to be alive… 🙁

        • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

          Yeah , i think we all will encounter that feeling too , i saw the combo of realisation/selflearnedhelpnessless/desperation/DOOM in the eyes of a good friend with a perfect loving living family after a few hours heated discussion . After that for good but naive people i take the Arnie approach , finding the optimum amount of info my targetted public can handle . So that the end effect is added knowledge, not added gravity .

          But it depends on my mood and what kind of arguments are coming my way.

        • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

          @Johnny Blade , i forgot to say to you that despite how depressed and sad you feel now about it , you ment well. People make mistakes, specially in new territories of life, thats how we learn , and your respons tells you learned well .
          And if there is enough time , eventually he will be thankfull to you for trying to warn him. Because what you did or tried to do , maybe ratled his fundaments now , but its still better than to have to swallow the colored pill so late as when he's diagnosed terminal IMHO .
          Allow yourself to make mistakes , its life, its human , you are human being , you are beautifull and strong , WE LOVE YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS ! Walk in peace with yourself my child, youre still on the good side of this ! 🙂

          Here is some music for you :

  • chrisk9

    Since Fukushima was built Tepco has relied heavily on sub- contractors, as have many plants in the United States. One of the reasons is "The objective of using contracted workers is to avoid responsibilities as an employer", but also most operating plants need only a couple hundred workers inside the plant until a refueling or maintenance shutdown. Then a plant could hire up to 1000 extra workers for several months.
    When they shut down the normal full time workers will often take a back seat and supervise the sub-contractors, as these workers do the hottest jobs and take the most dose.This often creates situations where the full time staff is not used to doing the most intense work. The GE workers who came and left Fukushima were actually more skilled than the full time staff on difficult operations. When I was there the regular staff wanted no part of the difficult and radioactively hot work we were doing.
    As I went from site to site how we were treated varied greatly from plant to plant, but Fukushima was not the most welcoming place. The local subcontractors liked the pay, but generally did not like working with radiation at all.
    So they have a staff with little experience with the difficult work, and a community that does not like working there very much in normal conditions. Send in reinforcements so something can be done-how long since those first two bundles were moved?

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      to chrisk9; Thank you for being a frequent contributer and voice of reason here on ENE News! I'd seen a couple of your posts since my return here as I find time during my cancer-caregiver duties for my wife as she's about to begin the #35 radiation treatments on Monday(I'm not thrilled!!) that are supposed to be the last part of her treatment plan except for Herceptin infusions for 18 months. Getting back to my point,being that I appreciate participation here by anyone with sound logic and reasoning and having persons "in the know" with "hands on" experience-especially someone who's gone to Fuku personally. Thanks again and I respect your insight and thoughts on the issues of focus in ENE forums and hope you continue to post here. Take care and be-well 🙂

      • andagi andagi

        Dear Johnny Blade,
        You always have some of the best comments. My heart goes out to you and your lovely wife. We're all here for you!

  • SusanS

    ☢ Japan Needs Worldwide Help NOW! ☢
    ☢ Fukushima Petitions to Sign & Share! ☢


    We need a worldwide consortium made up of experts in the field to start brainstorming solutions to what is happening in Fukushima and what can be done to FIX it. We need them NOW. Each country will also need to commit funds to this effort, since it is and will continue to affect the entire planet. The consequences could be the extinction of all life on earth. It is past time to do this. Japan is calling for help and they can not handle it alone.

    ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢

    • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

      gotta love the never ending hope of the girls. Since when did the cabal become interested in our memo? We know the DOE, the most powerful brain/computer bank of all time has been on this since the beginning. Thats not conjecture, they said so. The power brokers have never been and never will be interested in your signature. But the hope is endearing.