14 Août 2012
August 14, 2012
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) submitted to the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) a set of measures on Aug. 13 to prevent workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant from playing foul and falsifying radiation readings.
The utility had been ordered by NISA to come up with preventative measures following shocking revelations that several workers had placed lead covers over their alarm pocket dosimeters (APDs) to mask radiation exposure levels while engaging in restoration work at the Fukushima nuclear power station. Under the measures, the utility will conduct surprise inspections to see whether workers are wearing dosimeters the way they are supposed to. TEPCO, meanwhile, produced lead covers experimentally -- similar to the ones several workers had used to try to hide radiation exposure at the nuclear power plant -- and estimated that they were effective in masking radiation readings by about 30 percent.
Under the preventative measures, in October TEPCO will replace its protective gear for nuclear plant workers with new ones that are see-through around the chest area, where dosimeters are worn. Employees of TEPCO and its principal contractors will also conduct surprise inspections to see whether workers are actually wearing dosimeters.
Furthermore, with respect to those workers who are exposed to 5 millisieverts or more of radiation per month, TEPCO will conduct separate inspections if the levels of their monthly radiation exposure measured by the alarm pocket dosimeter are 20 percent lower than the levels measured by a different type of personal dosimeter used simultaneously, or the levels are less than half the average levels for a group of workers engaged in the same tasks.