Japan’s nuclear energy sector is riven by poor management, is overly bureaucratic and staffed by people who no longer have any pride in their jobs. So accidents are inevitable, say critics. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) issued a statement on Saturday, June 10, claiming that none of the five workers at a nuclear research facility that it had previously reported had suffered serious internal radiation exposure after an accident on June 7 have plutonium in their lungs. The agency’s report contradicts the initial claim that one of the workers had suffered internal exposure to 22,000 Becquerels of plutonium after a canister that had been in a storage unit at the Oarai Research and Development Center for 26 years was opened and bags holding the material burst. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper has described the JAEA as “an organization that has been accused of gross bungling in the past” and said the confusion over the workers’ exposure was caused by high levels of plutonium on the men’s skin, not in their lungs. “It’s just another example of poor management in these organizations,” said Aileen Mioko Smith, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan, an NGO. “I think these organizations have become overly bureaucratic, there is no longer any pride among the workforce in what they are doing – either at these sites or in management – and far too much work is subcontracted out because that is the easiest way for them to save money,” she told DW.
Deutsche Welle 12th June 2017 read more »