Journalist: Almost every day a worker would keel over with heat exhaustion and be carried out

Published: February 21st, 2012 at 7:40 pm ET
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Title: How the Yakuza went nuclear
Source: Telegraph
Author: Jake Adelstein
Date: 11:30AM GMT 21 Feb 2012

For his book, The Yakuza and the Nuclear Industry, [Tomohiko] Suzuki went undercover at Fukushima [...]

When Suzuki was working in the plant in August, he had to wear a full-body radiation protective suit and a gas mask that covered his entire face. The hot summer temperatures and the lack of breathability in the suits ensured that almost every day a worker would keel over with heat exhaustion and be carried out; they would invariably return to work the next day. Going to the bathroom was virtually impossible, so workers were simply told to “hold it”. According to Suzuki, the temperature monitors in the plant weren’t even working, and were ignored. Removing the mask during work was against the rules; no matter how thirsty workers became, they could not drink water. After an hour fixing pipes and doing other work, Suzuki says his body felt like it was enveloped in flames. Workers were not checked to see if they were coping, they were expected to report it to their supervisors. However, while Tepco officials on the ground told the workers not to risk injury, it seemed that anyone complaining of the working conditions or fatigue would be fired. [...]

Suzuki’s own feeling was that the effects of low-level radiation are still unknown and that, as a drinker and smoker, he’s probably no more likely to get cancer than he was before. [...]

Read the report here

See also: Anonymous Fukushima Employee: Workers were dropping like flies in the heat while clearing debris and watering reactors

 

Published: February 21st, 2012 at 7:40 pm ET
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