KEI SUGAOKA / photo by Jim Wilson/The New York Times
In 2000, Kei Sugaoka told Japan’s main nuclear regulator about a cracked steam dryer that he believed was being concealed. The regulator divulged his identity to Tokyo Electric, effectively blackballing him from the industry.
GE Nuclear Plant Inspector/Whistleblower Kei Sugaoko Speaks About Fukushima, GE & Obama
Published on Jun 6, 2011
General Electric nuclear plant inspector Kei Sugaoka was one of the inspectors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2000. He noticed a crack in the steam dryer which he videotaped. He was later ordered by Tokyo Electric Power Company TEPCO to edit this part of the tape which is illegal in the United States. He went public and some TEPCO managers were fired. He thought that things would change but they have not.
NY TIMES: In 2000, Kei Sugaoka, a Japanese-American nuclear inspector who had done work for General Electric at Daiichi, told Japan’s main nuclear regulator about a cracked steam dryer that he believed was being concealed. If exposed, the revelations could have forced the operator, Tokyo Electric Power, to do what utilities least want to do: undertake costly repairs.
What happened next was an example, critics have since said, of the collusive ties that bind the nation’s nuclear power companies, regulators and politicians.
Despite a new law shielding whistle-blowers, the regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, divulged Mr. Sugaoka’s identity to Tokyo Electric, effectively blackballing him from the industry. Instead of immediately deploying its own investigators to Daiichi, the agency instructed the company to inspect its own reactors. Regulators allowed the company to keep operating its reactors for the next two years even though, an investigation ultimately revealed, its executives had actually hidden other, far more serious problems, including cracks in the shrouds that cover reactor cores. …
In Japan, the web of connections between the nuclear industry and government officials is now popularly referred to as the “nuclear power village.” The expression connotes the nontransparent, collusive interests that underlie the establishment’s push to increase nuclear power despite the discovery of active fault lines under plants, new projections about the size of tsunamis and a long history of cover-ups of safety problems.
Just as in any Japanese village, the like-minded — nuclear industry officials, bureaucrats, politicians and scientists — have prospered by rewarding one another with construction projects, lucrative positions, and political, financial and regulatory support. The few openly skeptical of nuclear power’s safety become village outcasts, losing out on promotions and backing.
Until recently, it had been considered political suicide to even discuss the need to reform an industry that appeared less concerned with safety than maximizing profits, said Kusuo Oshima, one of the few governing Democratic Party lawmakers who have long been critical of the nuclear industry.
“Everyone considered that a taboo, so nobody wanted to touch it,” said Mr. Oshima, adding that he could speak freely because he was backed not by a nuclear-affiliated group, but by Rissho Kosei-Kai, one of Japan’s largest lay Buddhist movements.
“It’s all about money,” he added.
Fukushima ghost towns after the nuclear disaster
Kei Sugaoka, ex GE Fukushima worker revisiting Fukushima after 10 years. Images of the Daini nuclear plant and neighboring ghost towns abandoned due to the nuclear evacuation. To learn more about Kei Sugaoka check this article: http://bit.ly/MLt8B1
Kei Sugaoka Nuclear Worker: “There’s been some people dying, young guys, of some weird cancers” (VIDEO)
July 23rd, 2012 ENENews
Sugaoka: My friend the contractor, he works as like an assistant HP at the plant, one of the things he was telling me was he says, ‘Kei there’s been some people dying, young guys, of some weird cancers.’
And I says, ‘You know maybe radiation is [?] as safe as people think it is,’ I told him.
We were going back into Taipei [Taiwan] for dinner, and he says, ‘You know Kei don’t bring that up with Michael Chang, Michael Chang is the head of the division of the HP section at Chin San [Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan]… at both units.’
I said, ‘Don’t worry I won’t bring that up, but thanks for letting me know’… (Shrugs Shoulders)
I can’t say for sure, ‘Yes that person died of radiaton,’ but when he tells me its puzzling him that normal healthy people are dying at a young age, maybe radiation effects their genes differently.