Number of injured workers soars at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant


The number of workers injured at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant this fiscal year, which ends March 31, far exceeded the 2013 figure by November, Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials said.

The rise mainly reflects an increase in the overall number of workers at the disaster-hit plant, according to the officials.

Thirty-nine workers were injured at the plant between April and November 2014, while one became ill. In fiscal 2013, which ended in March last year, 23 were injured, including one who died.

Last Sept. 22, a worker from a partner company suffered a broken back after being hit by a falling iron pipe while building a storage tank for contaminated water.

During work to build a tank on Nov. 7, three workers were injured by falling steel weighing 390 kg. One was left temporarily unconscious, while another broke both ankles.

The average number of workers per day has continued to increase at the plant. It has exceeded 6,000 since September, nearly double the year-earlier level, due in part to the need to prepare new storage tanks for contaminated water.

Tepco believes the injuries were caused by poor on-site coordination and management by the partner company, according to the officials.

The utility has started holding monthly meetings with contractor firms to analyze the causes of problems and implement countermeasures, they said.