[ RadSafe ] Under-reporting at Fukushima?

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Sat Jul 21 18:42:21 CDT 2012

Here is more detailed article - sadly, it looks like this happened despite
its not likely to be very effective


"Sunday, July 22, 2012

Job boss wanted dosimeters encased in lead

Tepco crisis workers faced exposure scam

Kyodo, AFP-Jiji

An executive at a subcontractor for Tokyo Electric Power Co. forced nine
workers dealing with the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to
encase their dosimeters in lead, the company confirmed Saturday.

The executive is believed to have tried to underreport radiation exposure,
prompting the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to launch an investigation
on suspicion of violating the industrial safety and health law, officials

The unnamed executive, who is in his 50s and works for Build-Up, a
construction firm based in Fukushima Prefecture, told the plant workers
Dec. 1 to attach the lead plates to pocket dosimeters provided by Tepco to
monitor their radiation exposure, the sources said.

He said during questioning that he issued the instruction to them only once
and that they worked at the site around three hours that day, according to
the company.

The workers were hired for about four months through last March to wrap
pipes at a water treatment facility with heat insulators.

Tepco affiliate Tokyo Energy & Systems Inc., which contracted with
Build-Up, said it was told the workers did not use the lead plates, but it
is looking into the matter to see if the executive was acting on his own

Lead is one of the main materials for shielding radiation.

Tepco uses the dosimeters to decide how long workers at the Fukushima plant
can deal with the crisis without exceeding the government emergency
exposure limit of 100 millisieverts a year.

Hourly radiation of between 0.3 and 1.2 millisieverts was recorded near the
work site of the subcontractor employees.

"We are currently investigating the incident. We learned about this
incident only on Thursday after being interviewed by a newspaper," Build-Up
President Takashi Wada said Saturday. "We truly regret this has happened,
and we are taking it very seriously."

A newspaper reported Saturday that the executive told the workers they
would quickly reach the legally permissible annual exposure limit of 50
millisieverts without faking the exposure level.

The workers reportedly recorded the meeting.

"Unless we hide it with lead, exposure will max out and we cannot work,"
the executive was heard saying in the recording, the newspaper reported.

Some of the workers who refused to encase their dosimeters left Build-Up,
the paper said."

Roger Helbig

On Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 9:17 AM, Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com> wrote:
> July 21
>         According to this Reuters article (link below),
> "workers at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant were urged by a
> subcontractor to place lead around radiation detection devices in order to
> stay under a safety threshold for exposure."
>         The workers, it says, were told "to cover the devices called
> dosimeters when working in high-radiation areas."
>         Assuming that a high radiation area is an area of gamma radiation,
> how much lead (ounces or pounds) would be necessary to make a barrier
> enough to make a significant difference in the amount of gamma that would
> pass through it?  Could one carry around this much lead on a lapel-mounted
> dosimeter?
> Steven Dapra
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