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Labor shortage may be cause of errors at Fukushima N-plant

  • November 7, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 1:03 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Nov. 7 (Jiji Press)–A series of human errors found at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> tsunami-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant may have been caused by a labor shortage, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has suggested.

At a regular meeting on Wednesday, the NRA received a local report on the current situation of decommissioning work at the plant in northeastern Japan, the site of the triple meltdown accident in March 2011.

Mistakes have been found frequently as a result of TEPCO’s insufficient understanding of the situation and busyness of plant workers, according to the report from the NRA office at the plant site.

“I guess manpower is lacking,” NRA Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa said at a news conference after the meeting, indicating his willingness to interview TEPCO executives.

In July, an operational error caused smoke to rise from an electricity transmission cable at the Fukushima plant.

Some of such mistakes can be attributed to TEPCO’s poor supervision and insufficient information on the plant site. Some drawings of the site were not accurate, according to the office.

TEPCO “is not supervising the site properly,” Ryusuke Kobayashi, head of the regional office said.

According to Kobayashi, one TEPCO plant worker said there is no time to pause and think backward.

Another worker finds it difficult to point out the lack of human resources at a time when the company is working to reduce costs, Kobayashi said.

“I believe that the quality of the decommissioning work has deteriorated,” said Kobayashi, stressing the need to review human resource management and work schedule.

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