Fukushima contractor falsified radiation readings
RT | JULY 23, 2012
A company charged with decontaminating the devastated Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant encouraged its workers to falsely lower their radiation dosimeter readings by covering the devices with lead, according to a leaked tape of an internal meeting.
Nuclear plant workers are not allowed to be exposed to more than 50 millisieverts of radiation a year. But managers at Build-up, a company that provided insulation on the pipes that would pump irradiated water out of the plant, believed that doses experienced inside the plant, which suffered a meltdown, meant workers would quickly reach their limit.
A senior executive gave the team at the site lead boxes that they were told to make into shields.
The workers were then told to place these over the dosimeters. Lead effectively blocks radiation, and produces a significantly lower reading.
When some of them refused, the executive called a meeting.
The executive cajoled the workers by saying, “You can no longer make a living when the dose runs out,” according to a tape that was given by somebody present at the meeting to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
“I think this is almost a crime,” reported one of the workers.
An argument broke out, and while the executive said the decision was voluntary, the rhetoric became threatening.
“Perhaps you are not cut out for working at nuclear plants,” he said. “Go back to your hometown and do some other job.”