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Monday, 28 October 2013

8 months, 10 mishaps: A look at Fukushima errors


A string of mishaps this year at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was swamped by a tsunami in 2011, is raising doubts about the operator’s ability to tackle the crisis and prompting concern that another disaster could be in the making.
Worried Japanese regulators are taking a more hands-on approach than usual to seek solutions to what he says appear to be fundamental problems.
Human error is mostly to blame, as workers deal with a seemingly unending stream of crises. Tanaka said earlier this month the repeated “silly mistakes” are a sign of declining morale and sense of responsibility. The operator, known as TEPCO, acknowledged a systemic problem in a recent report: Workers under tight deadlines tend to cut corners, making mistakes more likely; at times, they don’t fully understand their assignment or procedures.
The utility has been losing experienced workers as they reach their radiation exposure limits, and hundreds of others are quitting jobs seen as underpaid given the difficulty and health risks. Regulators have urged the plant to have enough supervisors to oversee the workers on site; TEPCO says it has added staff and is ensuring proper field-management.
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The list of mishaps here at Japan today:
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