Sunday, February 22, 2015

Decommissioning worker at Fukushima Daiichi talks about constant fear of radioactive exposure, frequent accidents and extremely poor accommodations

A worker of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant came to Tokyo on Jan. 31 to meet with a group of concerned citizens. He, referred to as Mr. A in the meeting, a manual laborer engaged in decommissioning of the reactors, gave an detailed account of the difficult working and living conditions for workers at the nuclear power plant crippled with the earthquake and tsunami disasters in March, 2011 to an audience of more than 50, far exceeding the expectation of the organizer of the meeting. Mr. A worked for the Japan Post until his retirement in the spring of 2013. He started working in Namie-machi, Fukushima Prefecture in February, 2014. After working for decontamination in the town for several months, he started working at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in August. When I retired, I thought of moving to Fukushima. I wanted to work there and observe the historic turning point for Japan with my own eyes. Many workers are needed for decommissioning of reactors at Fukushima Daiichi and I thought older people should take the task rather than risking the lives of young people,he explained the motive. He is currently engaged in disposing documents, other burnable and hazardous wastes. Arriving at the J Village, the base for the workers of Fukushima Diichi, at around 6.30 a.m. and going through routine checks and changing clothes, he starts working around 9.30 a.m. He works for 2-3 hours each day. Its not tough physically, but we always feel the fear of radioactive exposure, he said and went on to elaborate the working and living conditions of decommissioning workers.  (By SASAKI Yumi)

 1 31日 東京・秋葉原で、「福島第一原発で働く現役廃炉作業員の話を聞く会」が開かれた。参加者は予想を大きく上回り50名を超えた(写真)。現役作業員 のAさ んは、東京の元郵便屋さん。一昨年春に定年退職し、昨年2月から福島県浪 江町で除染作業に従事。その後8月から第一原発で働くようになった。その 動 機をAさんは「定年退職を機に、歴史の結節点としての福島を、働きな がらこの目で見たいと考えた。誰かがやらなくてはいけない仕事、若い人より中高年が行 くべきだとも思った」と話す。Aさんの現在の仕事は、34号機の可燃物(書類など)と危険物の処理だ。朝の6時半ごろ、ビレッジにつき検査や着替えをす ませ現場作業は9時過ぎから。実働は12時間から3時間。肉体的 にはそれほどきつくはないと言う。(佐々木有美)

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