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Improve workers' awareness?

April 25, 2014


TEPCO body head: Work level must improve




The head of a new body to scrap the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says both the facilities and workers' awareness at the site need to be improved.

Naohiro Masuda held a news conference on Thursday. He leads the Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination and Decommissioning Engineering Company founded on April 1st by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company.

The body deals with the cleaning up of radioactive water at the site and the decommissioning of crippled reactors.

Masuda referred to a series of recent problems related to water treatment. Four supposedly offline pumps sent radioactive water into an unrelated building.

In addition, operation of a key water treatment system called ALPS was disrupted due to a valve that was wrongly shut down. The valve is for injecting a necessary chemical agent. Investigators suspect human error was the cause of these mistakes.

Masuda said that, after spending nearly a month at the plant, he is increasingly convinced that makeshift equipment set after the 2011 accident as well as workers awareness has to be improved.

He noted the glitches are due to poor maintenance of facilities built quickly after the disaster. These include radioactive water storage tanks, pump valves and other temporary equipment. Masuda added that work procedures are not checked enough.

Masuda said he will urgently review the maintenance system and also create a post specifically in charge of regularly monitoring the equipment.

Apr. 24, 2014 - Updated 16:56 UTC


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