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Stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant struggles to keep staff

36 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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36 Comments
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Such a great article! Thanks.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Great article, but pretty scary. Due to the combination of factors the article mentioned, it seems that another disaster is not only looming, but inevitable.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Cost cutting, lack of transparency, adverse health, bankrupt company morally and financially creators of a Nuclear Disaster of epic proportions. Pumping filth into the ocean, yep I would want to work for them too. 10,000 yen a day with little protective clothing . It's Regretable I feel so sad for them.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The saddest part about this is that the people Daiichi is losing are the experienced veterans -- people who know what they are doing and what needs to be done. I have no doubt they are filling up vacant positions with nuclear gypsies and other non-contracted workers offered heaps for a few months work but in reality given a pittance after all the 'necessary deductibles. And who the hell is TEPCO to issue warnings to contractors that IT hires??

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It must be strange for Fukushima laborers to go from scarce employment prior to the great quake to having hundreds of vacancies offered.

I am honestly surprised that they haven't sub contracted labor from china yet. This cleanup cant be delayed because its preventing work that will prepare the fuel rods for the next great natural event as well as the need to contain the poisonous fallout from spreading into the air land and sea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does anyone have “Happy-san”'s Facebook address? I can't find it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The clean up at Dai-Ichi should be the highest paid and highest priority job in Japan, shouldn't it?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They should be hiring from another labor pool: Robots.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Absolute disgrace, but to be expected here where there are no strong labor laws. As the article mentions, some of these blokes are basically illiterate, so god knows what disclaimers they've signed. We had the guys come and "decontaminate" my mansion last week, basically washing the thing with a high-pressure hose. Radiation levels were marginally lowered, still too high for any kids to be playing outside (which they do!). Im sad to read now these guys only gnt paid 16000 yen for the days work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Happy11311. Doesn't seem to be working there anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ranger_Miffy2,

Happy-san is on Twitter, not Facebook. But whether he writes his name in katakana or English is unclear.

I think, following the gov't bailout, TEPCO should have been required to be much more forthcoming with accurate information in its labor relations and technical problems. It's working for the taxpayer now, not its own stockholders anymore. Of course, Abe's want to restart all the nuclear power plants so that level of transparency will never happen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hi, build a real transformer robot and then just move the power plants to senkaku islands.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We all knew this would happen sooner than later... As long as the government keeps pushing nuclear power, the situation will only worsen. Hats off to the heros doing the actual work up in Fukushima, and may their corporate stooges pushing the pens in Tokyo get what they truly deserve.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Right now the nuclear industry in Japan is viewed as being a rogue among rogues. Cutting out the sleazy middleman and ensuring standards properly would probably cost a lot more, but it would reduce the staffing problem and make people take a little more seriously about the industry's claim that it intends to reform.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The highly sub-contracted workforce will eventually consist of those recruited by the Japanese gangsters, both in Japan and from abroad. There is an old saying in Japan for those who are indebted to the Y-san and must pay off their debts, "Women go the the fuzoku, men to the nuclear power plants."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Like with so many other things that happen after a disaster anywhere in the world, but particularly here in Japan, people just want to get on with their lives and forget about Fukushima and Tohoku, but it's imperative that the government keep pressing itself and TEPCO to do the right thing.

3 ( +2 / -0 )

There is an old saying in Japan for those who are indebted to the Y-san and must pay off their debts, "Women go the the fuzoku,

Yeah, this one is "old",

men to the nuclear power plants."

But not this one, however if things keep going as they are, the Yaks will be sending more people to Fukushima than fuzoku!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A December 2012 survey of workers that the company released found 48% were from companies not signed as contractors with the utility and the workers were falsely registered under companies that weren’t employing them. It is not clear if any laws were broken, but the government and TEPCO issued warnings to contractors to correct the situation.

Sounds like stealing money to me

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is going to take 40 or 50 years??? And I suppose by then there will not be another major earthquake? The solution is no more nuclear power in it's current form.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I sure wouldn't want to work there. No wonder they're having trouble finding people to work in a sea of radiation ... that stuff is downright scary ... no matter how "safe" the nuclear people say it is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This problem is very easy fixed . Their are many displaced people in the world that want a better life. Set up a mobile village in a Safe Area for them ,pay them well and give temporay residents to them as long as they are prepaired to continue work..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan with all of its Knowledge about building and running Nuclear Power Stations should be handling this better. They should not be involved in Designing or building any more any where in the world until a safer way is found for this process.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unfortunately, Japan has no experience in decommissioning nuclear power plants, a totally different knowledge set. The UK, one of the first commercial users of nuclear power and with extensive experience of decommissioning, has found that costs were many times high than estimates, and sites could take up to 70 years to fully complete. And those sites were not subject to explosions and scattering of radioactive materials.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

as many as five layers of contractors

Parasites!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Equality: the article is great exactly because it portrays a scary situation, without hiding the truth! This is how the press should work in a democracy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If clean-up was truly a priority, the Japanese government would be paying workers more than a fair wage, and they would do it in 20 years instead of 40 or 50!

Right now, workers aren't being paid even a fair, let alone "decent", wage for the work they're doing! Who the heck would WANT to do that work?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They should be getting that good-for-nothing Shimizu (former president) out there working.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This problem is very easy fixed . Their are many displaced people in the world that want a better life. Set up a mobile village in a Safe Area for them ,pay them well and give temporay residents to them as long as they are prepaired to continue work..

And watch Japan get nailed in the international press for racism, discrimination, and lord knows what else. "Sure, we screwed up. But let's get a bunch of foreign folks to clean up the mess for us! Plus we can make money off of them too. Over-work them, under pay them, hell why did we think of this sooner!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Send in the robots

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have you people heard of Atomic bomb Disease? Someone suggested Robot. In USA, automakers use Robotic gadgets to assemble parts. UAW are unable to unionize all of Japanese brand automakers because workers are trained to operate robotic gadgets. Robots can't vote. Operators operate from far away. These robots were created in other Japanese electronic companies in USA. Robots do not get atomic disease that destroy your body rapidly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Cricky: You want only 10,000 a day? I assume yen. If you apply, even without having any required qualification, isn't it too cheap? What is the minimum wage for a day for 8 hours?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I doubt very much that foreign unemployed people have one way travel money to apply there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some robots talk several languages and take oral instructions. Some are named Robo-Chan. Some robots are used to handle tiny components, some handle tall and.or heavy structure. If it comes to Japan, be careful to talk with a receptionist. You could be talking to a cute robot with beautiful kimono on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As one who have been opposed to nuclear power, we are saddled with this situation. One of results that has long been postulated by anti-nuclear movement. Our governemt only recently passed a law making it just the more difficult for foreigners to work here in Japan. This by lassing law stating that one must have at least four year college degree such as Bachelors Degree.

If this can be rescinded in Diet (at least for this one effort), this may allow those willing to fill those positions badly needed at Fukushima to work in cleanup process of Daiichi power plant site. Does one really need to have four year degree for cleanup, as one could be trained specifically on site for this half century task at hand?

One would imagine that help would be welcome internationally and encouraged to come to Japan for this effort, not discouraged as many cannot afford higher education in America and other parts of world to get four year degree who would be willing to come over for this effort. Fukushima is very important issue and a serious one at that. This 'anti-gaijin' mentality has, especially in doing everything possible to resolve this Fukushima disaster.no place in this regard to this ongoing cleanup effort. This affects not only us at home, but planet as whole.

Thank you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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