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Fukushima Non-Tepco Staff Dislike Work Conditions, Survey Shows

Most workers hired to help cleanup the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant are unhappy with the working environment, citing insufficient radiation protection poor food, sanitary and transport conditions.

Sixty nine percent of respondents surveyed by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station, complained about food, while 62 percent aren’t happy with radiation protection, the company known as Tepco said in a statement. Tepco had responses from 1,913 workers at the plant, excluding its own employees, in the survey conducted in May.

Tepco affiliate Tokyo Energy & Systems Inc. said last week that its subcontractor sent workers into the Fukushima station in December with lead plates to mask radiation meters in an effort to hide their exposure. The government, which approved a partial nationalization of Tepco in May, has started an investigation.

“If a violation of the law is confirmed, we will deal with it in a strict manner,” Health Minister Yoko Komiyama told reporters on July 24. “As we have the radiation limit to protect workers’ health, the law shouldn’t be violated.”

Demands from workers included increasing the number of toilets, more hood masks to protect against radiation, installing desks and chairs in a rest area, and increasing pay, according to the survey.

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