Fukushima worker sues TEPCO bosses


TEPCO and Fukushima safety, cartoon

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Fukushima worker sues over safety

Thursday 01 November 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

A worker at the beleaguered Fukushima nuclear power station filed a lawsuit against his former employers today, saying they had failed to protect employees from safety risks.

The man – identified only as Shinichi, 46 – worked for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) subcontractor Kandenko immediately after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown at the plant in April 2011.

He wants Japan’s labour office to issue Tepco with improvement orders and expects Kandenko company directors to face six-month jail terms or 500,000 yen (£3,900) fines.

He was part of a six-member team sent to lay cables to get the Unit Three reactor’s cooling system operational again.

He was sent down to a flooded basement to reconnect electrical switchboards but said he wasn’t told about the water and so only two of the group wore knee-high rubber boots.

“If you’re a nuclear plant worker, you know that water on the floor is bad news. You just don’t touch it,” he said.

And he said dosimeters measured unsafe levels of radiation but a supervisor said the equipment must have been faulty and told them to press on.

His lawyers – who are representing a number of Fukushima workers in other cases – said he was illegally sent to work without full protection.

Tepco admitted last week that it had played down the risk posed to the plant by a tsunami because it was worried it might be forced to shut down and incur financial penalties if it had to bring defences up to scratch.

Chernobyl cleanup workers had significantly increased risk of leukemia: here.

34 thoughts on “Fukushima worker sues TEPCO bosses

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