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Monday, 28 October 2013

A translated and shared letter from a Tepco worker to the Japanese government....

[FB snip]

If there was anything you thought was still missing from your files on nuclear workers, it is this:

 52 minutes ago

I hammered out the translation of the e-mail from a Fukushima Daiichi's worker sent to Mr. Kazuhiro Matsumoto.

Thanks for your good job. I heard that you posted what I had told you the other day on your FB.

Well, since it is my day off, I am writing you our current situation.

Honestly, our technology available now is not enough (to remove the spent fuel rods). We have a severe manpower shortage and the radiation level is way too high to go near the site.

To make the matters worse, recently we lost more workers due to TEPCO’s weird atmosphere.

The number of workers is less than a half of what we used to have in the summer.

As for tanks, maybe this has not reported yet, there are leaking spots here and there. Two to three workers are assigned to check more than 400 tanks and pipes. This kind of work load is too much to finish in a day.

The workers are told to do this every day. TEPCO takes measure for whatever the problems reported by the media but nothing has been done for other issues (that are not covered by the media).

When I have a Geiger counter, my 10 sievert meter goes off the scale easily here and there.

This happens when I am 50 centimeters away. So if I get any closer, I will be dead.

We attached a censor at the tip of a stick (because of this situation).

Recently I noticed that something is going on in the number 4 reactor’s building. But I heard that whatever they are doing there is not going well.

There seem to be numerous rubbles besides spent fuel rods, which is hindering their job. They are removing the rubbles as they move the rods, which is a difficult task. They seem to be doing this as they use a camera, not as they looking down from the top. On top of that, although the workers are not complete amateur but not used to do this type of job, there is no one to show them the know-how because experienced ones are all gone.

We workers are not informed on anything concrete officially. Exchanging our experiences among us makes us so scared.

Are they gonna let us evacuate? I have no idea. We have no perspectives in the future though. Before I got this job, I saw a progress schedule chart on TV. Now I can say that it was a bxxx sxxx.

Even now rubbles are scattered around. Sometimes we spay water, sometimes times suck it up, which does not look like making any progress or based on any concrete (strategic work) process.

Surely (outer) structures are there. But they are merely preventing the reactor buildings from further crumbling down. Nothing has been done for the area that melted through.

Lately I wonder why the media does not cover the radiation level of the contaminated water. It has been exacerbated with higher level than before.

FYI, the level of contamination fluctuates every day. It could be much higher than what the media reports. So do not trust their numbers as they are.

I can tell you more. Here, people are changing so frequently that if you work about three months, you are already considered as a veteran. Don’t you think it’s weird? I guess this is the proof of not accomplishing much. I have done various jobs and, from my experience, I can say that this situation is not good. No one can go near (to the site), can do nothing, or TEPCO does not give us any instruction.

They just contracts out the jobs and don’t care. I can see that clearly from here. Heck with “Fukushima’s recovery,” it will take at least 50 years more if they continue in this way.

For example, there must be something that generates extremely high heat as much as steam comes up when it rains. It goes up in the air. I have no idea what our radiation level could be here but all I can do is to look at the steam thinking that it would eventually be blown all over by north and south winds. This is our situation.

If someone asks us if there was anything different from before, I can say that nothing has changed. I will report you again. All I can say now is that the radiation level here is extremely high. I often see the Geiger counter goes off the scale. This makes me so scared.

Talk to you again.

[end translation]
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