Tokyo: The Japanese government will launch an investigation covering all contractors working at the crisis-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture to see if their radiation exposure has been properly monitored.
The move by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare came after a revelation that an executive of a Tokyo Electric Power Co. Subcontractor forced its workers at the utility's Fukushima Daiichi plant to cover their radiation monitoring meters with lead plates, raising suspicion that the official tried to underreport workers' radiation exposure data.
"This is an issue that shakes the foundation of the management of workers' radiation exposure, and if it is true, it is extremely regrettable," labor minister Yoko Komiyama said.
Officials of the Fukushima-based constructor Build-Up apologized at a press conference yesterday in Koriyama, Fukushima, while denying any intention to cover up the radiation exposure data.
Lead is one of the most effective materials for shielding radiation and Tokyo Electric uses the dosimeters to decide how long staff at the Fukushima plant can work without exceeding the government-set exposure limit of 100 millisieverts a year.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said separately that the government intends to prevent recurrence of such practices after its investigation. (Kyodo)
First Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 15:08