No one at Fukushima seems to have any idea what they’re doing

In the latest "mishap," six workers splashed themselves with highly radioactive water

Topics: Fukushima, Nuclear Reactor, Radiation, Japan, ,

Here are just a few of the things that have gone wrong at Fukushima’s crippled nuclear plant in the past month alone:

  • Sept. 19: 80 gallons of water leaked from fire-fighting pipe damaged during debris removal operations.
  • Sept. 26: A fence set up to contain radioactive sediment from spilling into the sea was found to have a hole in it.
  • Sept. 27: After months spent repairing it, a water-treatment machine failed. It was found to be clogged by a piece of rubber that was mistakenly left inside it.
  • Oct. 2: Workers pumped too much radioactive water into a storage tank, causing it to overflow and spill 110 gallons of radioactive water into the sea.
  • Oct. 9: Six workers were accidentally doused with highly radioactive water after removing the wrong pipe from equipment.

You Might Also Like

All this, of course, is in addition to TEPCO, the plant’s operator, admitting in August that 300 tons of contaminated groundwater was leaking into the ocean each day. The latest incident released about 10 tons of toxic water, although none is believed to have reached the ocean. The workers, who were wearing protective suits and masks, are believed to be unharmed.

The continual mishaps, reports suggest, can be attributed to a mixture of structure inadequacies and human error. The overflowed storage tank, for example, was missing a gauge that could have warned the workers that it was already filled to capacity. Moreover, it was placed on uneven ground, causing it to tilt toward the sea.

But lowered morale, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka told reporters, might also be affecting workers’ ability to do their jobs safely. “People usually don’t make silly, careless mistakes when working in positive environment and motivated,” Tanaka said. “The lack of it, I think, may be related to the recent problems.”

Lindsay Abrams
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...