Eyes Open Report
A former employee at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant who was exposed to high levels of radiation is seeking 11 million yen ($110,000) in compensation from the crippled plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.
According to the man’s attorneys the suit is the first to ever be filed on behalf of a Fukushima employee.
The worker was a part of a team sent to lay electric cables inside the reactors shortly after the disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. He claims that TEPCO issued negligent instructions that allegedly led to dangerous radiation exposure.
“I wish [the utility] had informed of possible risks in advance,” the worker, whose identity is kept secret, was quoted as saying during a news conference in Tokyo, reports RIANOVOSTI.
“That is a breach of responsibility to ensure safety. [The utility] put us in a position of being exposed to high doses of radiation unnecessarily,” the man was cited as saying.
The complainant claimed he was among six workers of TEPCO who came down to the third Fukushima reactor’s basement only 13 days after it had been heavily flooded following the earthquake and tsunami.
Three of his co-workers who walked through contaminated water were exposed to 180 millisieverts of radiation and hospitalized. The man himself did not enter the water but worked in the basement for an hour and a half. He estimates he received a dose of radiation of a minimum of 20 millisieverts.
The man argues that TEPCO was fully aware of the risks of the dangerous working conditions in which he and others were placed due to previous findings of highly contaminated water around the reactor during the time he was present at the plant.
Reports claim the man has yet to suffer any negative health effects from the radiation exposure.
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