TEPCO rejects settlement proposals over compensation to staff victims of nuclear disaster - 毎日新聞

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) rejected some 20 proposals made by the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center (ADR) to settle disputes with TEPCO employees and their families over compensation for damages stemming from the 2011 outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant, it has been learned.

TEPCO, the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power complex, turned down six such proposals during a one-month period through March 26. All of the proposals were made at the request of TEPCO employees and their families, and there were two cases in March alone that were brought to court. Other TEPCO employees are also considering filing lawsuits against the utility. The unusual situation in Japan in which employees and their company confront each other is becoming increasingly serious.

According to people concerned, there were 21 cases as of March 26 in which procedures for ADR-brokered settlements broke down because TEPCO refused to reach out-of-court settlements. TEPCO rejected all of the compromise proposals made by the ADR to order the utility to pay compensation to TEPCO employees or their families. There were 15 cases that had been handled by the ADR for about two and a half years between August 2011 when the ADR was established and Feb. 25, 2014. That means, however, that TEPCO rejected six sets of compromise proposals during only one month thereafter.

A 45-year-old male employee filed a lawsuit with the Fukushima District Court on March 4 and a 23-year-old male employee filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court on March 10. The man who filed the suit with the Fukushima District Court was living alone in an apartment in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Okuma near the troubled nuclear power station when the nuclear accident occurred. He is currently living in Fukushima city, and he filed the lawsuit demanding the utility pay about 7 million yen in damages including psychological distress. His lawyer Mitsugu Araki said, “There is no rational reason why only TEPCO employees should not be granted compensation.”

The man who filed the suit with the Tokyo District Court is a young TEPCO employee who joined the utility four years ago. In the wake of the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, he slept in his car after evacuating from a company residence in Okuma near the crippled nuclear plant. He then moved to a corporate dormitory at the “J-Village” facility in Hirono and Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, in August 2011.

The man lived in a three-tatami-mat private room while trying not to make any noise. Thus, he had a series of sleepless nights. In October 2011, he lied down in the room but could not get to sleep. He later found out that he had taken one month’s worth of sleep-inducing tablets by the following morning. Doctors diagnosed him with an adjustment disorder. He could not adapt to the environment and started to suffer from depression and insomnia. In the ADR-mediated procedures, TEPCO insisted, “His evacuation finished when he moved to Iwaki city.” Because of all this, the man moved ahead to file the lawsuit demanding TEPCO pay about 18 million yen in damages.

The man says that many young TEPCO employees have been leaving the company because of the utility’s discriminatory handling of its employees. His friend who joined the utility the same year left the company, saying, “I can’t work at a company that does not see a person as a human.” The man asked himself, “Should I seek compensation even by suing the company?” After agonizing over the issue, he decided to file the lawsuit against TEPCO, saying, “For the sake of other employees who cannot raise their voices, I want the company to acknowledge its responsibility.” His lawyer Motomitsu Nakagawa said, “TEPCO and the state should think about the fact that there are many employees in the background who cannot raise their voices.”

According to other lawyers, there are at least two people who are preparing to file lawsuits against TEPCO. Although the situation represents a confrontation between labor and management, there are no signs that the Tokyo Electric Power Worker’s Union will take any action. The union told the Mainichi Shimbun, “Because compensation is an issue to be handled by individuals, the union has no plans to negotiate with the company.”


Source: http://www.scoop.it/t/nuke-free-world/p/4019848191/2014/04/17/tepco-rejects-settlement-proposals-over-compensation-to-staff-victims-of-nuclear-disaster

TEPCO ordered to act on contaminated water problem

Japan’s nuclear regulator has ordered the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to strengthen safety measures for handling contaminated water. The Tokyo Electric Power Company announced a mishandling incident at the plant and the regulator wants to prevent a reoccurrence.

Workers at the plant inject water into damaged reactors to cool melted fuel. The water becomes highly radioactive in the process, and is supposed to be held in storage buildings before being sent to a decontaminating facility.

On Monday TEPCO learned that more than 200,000 liters of highly contaminated water was mistaken pumped to the basement of a building in the compound. The company says 4 pumps for emergency use directed the water.

Nuclear Regulation Authority Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa called for stronger measures at a regular meeting of the group on Wednesday. He suggested steps such as setting up security cameras and locking the pumps’ switch boxes.

The regulator ordered the utility to come up with preventative measures and report them at an experts’ panel scheduled for Friday.

TEPCO has yet to determine who turned on the pumps and how the incident came about. The regulator has also asked to be briefed on the results of TEPCO’s investigation.

Source: http://www.scoop.it/t/nuke-free-world/p/4019848043/2014/04/17/tepco-ordered-to-act-on-contaminated-water-problem-nhk-world-english

TEPCO: August water leak far more toxic than first annouced

via Japan Times / April 12, 2014 / Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday that toxic water found to have leaked last August at one of the huge tanks at the accident-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was far more contaminated than initially announced. After recalculating the radiation level, Tepco said the water contained 280 million becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials such as strontium-90, instead of …

Source: http://fukushimaupdate.com/tepco-august-water-leak-far-more-toxic-than-first-annouced/

Worker Death At Fukushima Daiichi Completely Preventable

TEPCO released an interim report into the recent construction worker’s death at the plant. The report showed that the worker had been working in a small cave like area while jackhammering concrete overhead. This was under the overhang of the building foundation. This scenario would have been considered inappropriate under the worker safety rules in most developed countries.
The hole dug for access to this area of the foundation was held back with plywood and steel conduit poles. A steel excavation wall set is the norm most places. It appeared there also was no soil bracing under the building where the worker was conducting the work.
Former Fukushima Daiichi workers Happy & Sunny both expressed frustration with the long time it took between the incident and getting the worker to the emergency room of the nearest hospital in Iwaki. There is still only ground based ambulance service to the plant. This can …

Source: http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=12717

Japan Gives Residents All Clear To Return To Fukushima Disaster "Hot Zone" | Zero Hedge

As we reported last night, Japan’s economy may once again be relapsing into a slowing phase, perversely well in advance of the dreaded sales-tax hike which many expect will catalyze Japan’s collapse into another recession as happened the last time Japan had a tax hike, but that doesn’t mean its population should be prevented from enjoying the heavily energized local atmosphere buzzing with the hope and promise of imminent paper-based “wealth effects” for those long the daily penNikkeistock rollercoaster…. and just as buzzing with copious gamma rays of course. Which is why for the first time in over three years, since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, residents of a small district 20 km from the wrecked plant are about to be allowed to return home. Because if the honest Japanese government says it is safe, then so it must be.

See it on Scoop.it, via FUKUSHIMA 311 WATCHDOGS

Source: http://www.scoop.it/t/nuke-free-world/p/4018728963/2014/04/01/japan-gives-residents-all-clear-to-return-to-fukushima-disaster-hot-zone-zero-hedge

DOE To Do WIPP Mine Reentry On April Fools Day

DOE is planning the first reentry into the mine for April 1st.
“Tomorrow, personnel are scheduled to enter the WIPP underground to survey conditions for the first time since the February 14 radiological release. A team of eight radiological control, mine operations, and mine rescue experts will descend into the mine through the Salt Shaft to establish a safe base of operations and conduct radiation surveys to check for airborne contamination. If no contamination is detected, a second team of eight members will enter the underground to check conditions between the Salt Hoist and the Air Intake Shaft.
Multiple mine entries are necessary before the team accesses the waste disposal area where a continuous air monitor detected airborne contamination. Once they reach that point, the team will locate and isolate the source of the contamination.”

This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team. Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org.

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Source: http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=12709

3.11 Third Anniversary of Fukushima Nuclear Accident, Events and Actions Worldwide

3-11 Laguna BeachThank all members who selflessly organized 3/11 awareness events around the world and for all the time and attention you invested to make those events outstanding and inspiring.

We are so proud to know you and be a part of this global family. ♥

Report-backs on many events showing up now at http://fukushimathirdanniversaryevents.blogspot.com.