Criminal Fraud in the Nuclear Industry
One of Japan’s leading newspapers – Asahi – reports:
The long and the short of it is this: Nuclear power plants probably would not operate properly in Japan if workers were not willing to sacrifice their health, and possibly their lives.
It emerges that workers at nuclear plants routinely resorted to ingenious ways to conceal the true levels of radiation to which they were exposed–simply to go on earning a living.
That is the disturbing picture that emerges from accounts given by more than 10 people, either working at nuclear power plants or now retired.
They came out of the woodwork after The Asahi Shimbun reported in late July that a senior executive of a subcontractor to Tokyo Electric Power Co. ordered workers to cover dosimeters with lead plates to keep measured radiation doses at low levels.
While it is troubling that workers hid their dosimeters while working at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, where radiation levels soared after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami last year, it is now clear that such practices have been in place for years, if not decades.
The supervisor for the subcontracting company instructed the man to place his dosimeter in a lead container about the size of a tissue box that was placed within the reactor building.
The man said his work usually lasted about an hour. When the dosimeters were placed in the lead container, radiation exposure doses were close to zero. When the dosimeters were carried by the workers, the readings were between 0.3 and 0.4 millisievert.
The man also said that instructions to place the dosimeters in the lead container tended to increase toward the end of the fiscal year when the accumulated radiation exposure levels approached the 20-millisieverts standard established by the contracting company.
Of course, it’s not just Japan …
As a former GE nuclear inspector points out, nuclear workers were forced to wear lead vests in Taiwan to falsify radiation exposure.