The High Risk Job Of Nuclear Contract Workers

We have seen many articles about the nuclear gypsies that do the high risk work at nuclear power plants in Japan. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists takes a deeper look at the risks and lack of protections for these workers.

Their work is dose based, when they reach the set maximum exposure, they are simply fired. Since these workers are temporary contract workers they have no benefits and no occupational health coverage or documentation. A common tactic of workers desperate to stay on the job as they need the pay check is to leave behind their dosimeter or place it where it will not pick up the true dose. So as these workers fall ill or later in life suffer the health consequences of their exposure, there is no record or an inaccurate record of their work history.

The Bulletin report mentions how these contract workers are given the most dangerous high exposure jobs, this is the case at Fukushima based on worker reports. The incredible risk the temporary workers take at nuclear plants is frequently not included in the over all risk and cost of nuclear power.

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