In the last week, a major scandal has developed at Fukushima, as media reports have confirmed that subcontractors were told to cover their dosimeters with lead shields in order to manipulate or underreport their radiation exposures.
The Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry has announced that it has launched an official investigation into the matter, and will require all workers including subcontractors whose dosimeter readers were suspiciously low to come in for whole body checks to determine their actual levels of radiation exposure.
“Any law violation will be strictly dealt with,” Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoko Komiyama told reporters.
“This is an issue that shakes the foundation of the management of workers’ radiation exposure, and if it is true, it is extremely regrettable,” Komiyama said adding that if manipulations did occur, such actions would be unforgiveable.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has also announced it launched a probe into Fukushima Daiichi this week, and will also check how radiation exposure is monitored and advise the utility to take preventive measures against any dose-reading manipulation tactics.
The manager who instructed some 12 workers to use the lead covers admitted that he did not allow three employees who declined to use them to work at the site, adding he did this only because he was worried that they would not obey his instructions.
Source: The Japan Times
Source: Kyodo News