Fukushima Radiation Cover-up
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese authorities are investigating subcontractors on suspicion that they forced workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant to underreport the amount of radiation they were exposed to so they could stay on the job longer.
Labor officials said Sunday an investigation had begun after news media reports of a cover-up at the Fukushima Daichi plant, which suffered multiple meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A subcontractor of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company acknowledged having nine workers cover their dosimeters with lead plates late last year so that the instruments would indicate a lower level of radiation exposure.
Takashi Wada, president of Fukushima-based subcontractor Build-Up, said over the weekend that the dosimeter falsification had taken place.
“We should never have done that,” Mr. Wada said in an interview with the TBS network, broadcast on Saturday.
The investigation marks the first time the government has looked into the case, believed to be part of a widespread practice at the plant, since it was hit by the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.
The government more than doubled the emergency radiation exposure limit soon after the accident, but lowered it to the previous level in December.